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University of Delaware - Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics

By Charlotte Schumacher November 19, 2020

On Thursday, October 1st, 2020 the Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship (CEEE) at the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics honored blooming stock investors and their network of supporting teachers and family members at the first-ever remote Stock Market Game (SMG) awards reception.

Sponsored by the Securities Industry and the Financial Markets Association, the SMG is made available to schools across the state of Delaware by the CEEE. Since 1983, the CEEE has empowered students from elementary through high school to build investment portfolios and maximize earnings through the SMG. In this 10-week simulative experience, students are granted a hypothetical $100,000 to invest in stocks and mutual funds listed on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.

This year’s SMG reception, led by the CEEE’s Delaware Stock Market Game Coordinator Marion Jacobs, was previously scheduled to be held in the spring of 2020, but after being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, winners from the spring SMG and InvestWrite competitions were recognized along with InvestWrite winners from the fall of 2019 via Zoom.

Spring 2020 SMG Winners

Out of 444 competing teams in the state of Delaware this fall, teams from Thurgood Marshall Elementary, Springer Middle School and Padua Academy triumphed in this year’s SMG with the highest dollar value stock portfolios.

The team from Thurgood Marshall Elementary earned a $15,467 return on their initial $100,000 investment, beating the S&P 500 by more than 30%. Students Hasfa Ahmed, Trinity Hunter-Harris, Azra Yilmaz, Jasmine Salmeron and Sarayu Surieddy were supported by their teacher, Nancy Ventresca.

Next, out earning the S&P 500 by more than 51%, Springer Middle School and its winning team were acknowledged for their achievement of earning a $41,500 return on their virtually allotted $100,000.

“I enjoyed quite a lot watching and waiting to see when we should sell our stocks, and where we should put our money next,” said Sophia Platsis, one of Springer’s winning team members. “Considering everything that’s happening in the world right now with COVID-19, the [stocks] that we put money in were Amazon [and] INOVIO Pharmaceuticals, and we short sold Rite Aid too.”

Along with Platsis, team member Alaina Cole, teacher Michael Glazier and principal Tracy Woodson celebrated their efforts to outsmart the stock market in this year’s challenge. Glazier shared that the circumstances through which the SMG was played this spring kept his students connected through the isolating experience of quarantine.

Lastly, the first-place winning team in the high school division was recognized for their $9,300 return on their initial $100,000 investment, surpassing the S&P 500 by more than 24%. From Padua Academy’s champion team were students Regan Riley, Hannah Solge and Caroline Spall and teacher Bethann Higley.

InvestWrite Winners

After honoring the top-scoring SMG teams, the reception celebrated winners from the spring 2020 and fall 2019 InvestWrite essay competition. Through InvestWrite, students become more deeply acquainted with the rules of investing and are challenged to reflect on their participation in the SMG.

Jailil Sheth, the fall 2019 InvestWrite winner from Thurgood Marshall Elementary, stated, “I loved how it was so close to the Stock Market Game. So, if you play the game, it’d be easier to write the essay and you could draw parallels from both worlds.”

Emerie Gloner from Springer Middle School was also recognized for her winning essay. Gloner told the Zoom attendees that she learned how demand affects stocks; how if a product is in demand and a stock is selling, that its stock will most likely rise.

“Emery wrote an essay about the need for mental health facilities in and around the area,” said Glazier. “I think it was just so impressive that an eighth-grade student would think to talk about using investments to facilitate that.”

Next, Eileena Mathews working alongside her teacher, Charles Schneider, was given the opportunity to speak on her award-winning essay about her dream of one day opening a law firm.

“The main thing I learned from the Stock Market Game is that no matter what career or dreams I hope to pursue, I can use investing as a way to make those things happen,” said Matthews.

The CEEE then placed a spotlight on the two leading essayists from the fall 2020 InvestWrite competition; from the primary division, Colin Yoder from Hartly Elementary School worked alongside his teacher, Bridget Davila to compose his winning essay. From the high school division, Hannah Kasten from St. Thomas More Academy was guided by her teacher, Anne Powers. Kasten was a double winner, placing first in the state and ninth overall in the national InvestWrite competition.

“The focus of my essay was the value of investing in the healthcare sector, especially investing in stocks, bonds and funds, because businesses are making an impact on my local community,” explained Kasten. “My experiences in the SMG gave me the skills I needed to make this analysis and write this essay.”

After all of the winning students and teachers were recognized for their hard work and diligence, the CEEE featured Jill Lazar, who discussed the special relationship she has with the CEEE as the director of the Investor Protection Unit of the Delaware Department of Justice.

“The real reason that I think the relationship between the Investor Protection Unit and the Center for Economic Education is so important is because studies show that participants in this kind of program become more adept at managing their own finances, they become thoughtful investors, and their financial literacy is improved,” Lazar said, speaking on behalf of the Investor Protection Unit.

Jacobs, along with Director of the CEEE Carlos Asarta, concluded the remote reception by thanking all of the young participants, their teachers, families and the Investor Protection Unit for making this year’s SMG possible, especially through the rocky era of COVID-19.