How would you like a 14.3% growth in your retirement fund? Would you be willing to settle for 8.75%? That’s exactly what some sharp students from Raider Country accomplished in the Ohio Stock Market Challenge (OSMC) this spring.
Nearly 200 teams from across Ohio competed in the challenge. Teams of two to five students were given $100,000 in imaginary dollars to invest over a 10-week period.
The team from Versailles finished first in the high school division with $114,327 in their portfolio. A team of students from Fort Loramie Elementary School grew their portfolio to $108,754 and won the middle school division. Cash prizes of $100, $75 and $50 were awarded to the top three teams in each division.
The top three high school and middle school teams from the 15-county region served by the Center for Economic Education and Financial Literacy at the Raj Soin College of Business visited Wright State to learn more about the university and the stock market May 10.
“It is a good way to introduce middle and high school students to the stock market and to teach them how to grow wealth,” said D.R. Fannin, director of the center. “It is also a good way to give them a taste of the college experience.”
Twenty-one students, parents and teachers took a tour of campus, met for lunch at the college and joined current Wright State finance students and faculty in the Trading Room for a question and answer session about their experiences.
Brandon Groff and Megan Hemmelgarn of Versailles High School won their division because of a pharmaceutical stock that surged in value on the last day of the competition.
“It was very interesting being exposed to the whole financial market,” said Groff, a senior. “We learned how to research investments, make good investments and the pros and cons of the stock market—how you can lose and gain big.”
“They gained a much better understanding for what the stock market is, what it represents and how it could affect their personal finances in the future, whether it be in investing, retirement funds or college savings,” said Amy Carman, government/economics teacher at Versailles High School.
Wright State’s finance students participate in a similar exercise as the challenge each semester in the Real Money class—an undergraduate course where students invest funds from the university endowment using investing principles they’ve learned in the classroom.
“I was really impressed because they didn’t just throw a dart at the wall when they made their picks,” said Jonathon Mahilo, a recent grad who earned his degree in finance. “A lot of them stuck with the products they knew, that they were familiar with. And that’s a sound strategy. Invest in what you know.”
Supporting the challenge and other events is one of many ways the Center for Economic Education and Financial Literacy serves as a catalyst for teaching the basics of economics and finance throughout the region.
With a litany of continuing education opportunities for area teachers throughout the year and in-person curriculum demonstrations in schools across the greater Dayton area, the center is fulfilling its mission to educate teachers on how to teach financial literacy and economics to kids in grades PreK–12.
“We’ve been offering professional development to teachers for years,” said Fannin.
Fannin said courses have been offered online since 1997. In 2006, Ohio passed legislation emphasizing personal finance. Since then it’s also become a staple of instruction.
“We emphasize learning about credit a lot now, but more than anything we’re trying to pass along engaging ideas and resources that teachers can take back to the classroom and use today,” said Fannin.
High School Division
Versailles High School
$114,327 Portfolio Value
Advisor: Amy Carman
Students: Brandon Groff, Megan Hemmelgarn
Dayton Regional STEM School
$114,210 Portfolio Value
Advisor: Arch Grieve
Students: Sharde Scott-Manning, Ryan Truesdell, Killian Macnish, Tim Brown
Greenon High School
$110,003 Portfolio Value
Advisor: Sherrie Smith
Students: Samantha Barnette, Brock Gnau, Dustin McReynolds, Madelyne Watkins, Cody Tankersley
Middle School Division
Fort Loramie Elementary School
$108,754 Portfolio Value
Advisor: Bran Turner
Students: Dana Rose, Adam Siegel, Austin Bollheimer
Fort Loramie Elementary School
$108,472 Portfolio Value
Advisor: Brad Turner
Students: Trevor Middendorf, Hannah Raterman, Danielle, Eilerman
Five Points Elementary School
$108,426 Portfolio Value
Advisor: Courtney Hurley
Students: Hope Deckman, Sydeny Khosla, Raegan Truscott