While the mere mention of the stock market gives many adults ulcers, six students from Spanish Fork Junior High have gone into the world of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds and have come out winners. Ethan Williams, Luis Acevedo, and Wyatt Evans made up a team that took first in the state Junior High division, out of 210 teams. Bethany Bramall, Lexi Call, and Melanie Vergara were the team that took 5th.
The Stock Market Game® is a nationwide simulation, run by individual states, where students are given $100,000 in simulated cash, and are invited to invest that money into the stock market in attempt to make the most money. The students can invest in either stocks or mutual funds, and can invest that money either buying long, or by doing a short sell. The game lasted 10 weeks, during which time the students monitor their stocks, choosing when to buy and sell them. The trades are done in real time according to the rise and fall of the companies that the students are investing in. Though the simulation is only for a short time compared to how much time is recommended to invest in the market, the students learn the value of following stocks, doing research on which companies to invest in, and how and when to take risks. The team that took first place in the game invested in stocks which included JDA software, Hasbro, and Google. The team that took fifth place invested in stocks which included Amazon and FedEx.
The students were presented with their trophy and plaques at a banquet held in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. The teams had to give a short speech to members of the State Office of Education and other education officials. The sponsors of the Stock Market Game® for the state of Utah are the Utah State Office of Education, The Utah Council of Economic Education, and the Utah Division of Securities.