In the fall, when the 2009 session of the Stock Market Game started on September 28, the Dow stood at 9,789. When trading ended on December 4, the Dow had climbed to 10,389. Along the way, Stormy Kage, Kalyn Spurley, Julian Truitt, and Brianna Williams led by their teacher Aaron Robinson at Newton High School used reading, math, analytical skills, and teamwork to win the Stock Market Game for Newton County Schools with a winning portfolio value of $110,387. It’s not real money but the lessons these students learn about economics, financial planning, and the importance of research are tough lessons that some adults are now learning the hard way. When students learn lessons about economics and financial literacy now, it can pay dividends later in life. Each year, more than 35,000 students in public and independent schools participate in the Stock Market Game in Georgia, one of the largest competitions in the country. During the fall and spring semesters, teachers use the program to help upper grade school and high school students learn about economics, private enterprise, and investing by researching publicly-traded companies on the Internet, reading business publications, and crunching numbers. Every team starts out with a hypothetical portfolio value of $100,000. Students can purchase stocks, buy on margin, sell short, and invest in mutual funds or bonds. The idea behind the program is to create a realistic investing scenario where students can build a portfolio using skills and subjects they learn in the classroom, like reading, math, science, reasoning, teamwork and decision-making. The Stock Market Game gives students a safe place to learn and make mistakes about long-term investing that won’t cost them now. That way, they’ll have a better understanding in the future when the money is real and their retirement income is at stake. After 10 weeks, the team with the highest portfolio value wins. One winning team is selected for each public school district, or geographic region in the case of independent schools. Winning teams from around Georgia will be honored at the annual Stock Market Game Awards Luncheon in Atlanta on May 4 at the Georgia Freight Depot. An estimated 550 students, teachers, and parents are expected to attend. This year, GCEE will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Stock Market Game in Georgia. GCEE has worked since 1972 to help teachers bring economics to the classroom in school systems across our state. Every year, hundreds of teachers from around Georgia reinforce their teaching skills in economics by attending GCEE workshops. GCEE helps out cash-strapped school systems by offering many workshops and lesson materials at no cost, with substitute reimbursement part of many workshops so teachers can attend.
The generosity of Bank of America, the CFA Society of Atlanta, the Citi Foundation, the Foundation for Investor Education, the Georgia Securities Association, INVESCO, Morgan Stanley, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Foundation for Investor Education, and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association/ South Central District supports Georgia’s Stock Market Game. To learn more, please visit the Georgia Council on Economic Education Web site at www.gcee.org.