by Shelley Barber
Colorado’s championship team for the nationwide Stock Market Game came from Peakview School’s Personal Finance Class. Eighth graders Destinee Summers, Alyssa Sandoval and Sarah Encinias trounced teams from grades 5-12, with schools of every size competing. The Peakview team will be honored at a ceremony in Denver May 11, where they’ll also receive a $100 award.
Played in all 50 states, the spring round began Jan. 10 and included 793 Colorado teams, each given a hypothetical $100,000 with which to buy stock. Under the guidance of teacher Bob Barber, Peakview’s Personal Finance students digested economic concepts such as inflation and deflation, researched the Federal Reserve, as well as publicly traded companies, and learned about mutual funds, buying on margin, selling short, exchange traded funds, sub-prime loans and more.
Summers, Sandoval and Encinias’ team parlayed their hypothetical investment of $100,000 into a $152,221 portfolio by the time the game finished at end of trading April 21. Peakview’s scholars beat the second-place team (from Boulder High School) by over $15,000, and the third placers of Bishop Machebeuf High by a margin of $17,000. The closest competition from middle schools was Douglas County’s Rocky Heights, which finished $32,000 below Peakview’s winners, who also beat the Standard and Poor index by 47%.
When asked about their strategy, Alyssa and Destinee explained that they realized the Federal Reserve was instigating QE2 (quantitative easing of currency), “So inflation was likely.” Looking at precious metals to hold value, they analyzed the ratio of the price of gold to silver; “We decided to invest in silver instead of gold.” Next came their decision to utilize an exchange traded fund, rather than investing in the metal directly, in order to protect themselves by spreading out the risk. The fund they invested in more than doubled, clinching their title.
This state’s sponsor for The Stock Market Game is the Colorado Council for Economic Education and Peakview’s cost of participation ($10 per team) was covered by a grant from the Colorado Rockies / McCormick Tribune Foundation. Game Coordinator was Erica Fukuhara.
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