Students learn about stocks, make a profit

Even in a bad economy somebody can make money.

With equity markets in the doldrums for months, there was nowhere to go but down. But a team of young investors from Parkview High School have been studying financial literacy and learning enough economics to finish first among teams in the Gwinnett County Schools participating in the Stock Market Game.

Students Harrison Siegfried, Yoojin Cha and Joshua Ramey, with the counsel of teacher Mark Leviton, took their hypothetical start-up investment of $100,000 and turned it into a portfolio with a value of $157,536.

During fall and spring semesters, fourth- through 12th-grade students play the Stock Market Game for 10 weeks, researching publicly traded companies on the Internet, reading business publications and analyzing numbers to select stocks. The team with the highest portfolio value at the end of 10 weeks wins. One winning team is selected from each public school district, or geographic region in the case of independent schools.

Winning teams from the fall 2007 competition and this spring's winners were honored at the Stock Market Game Awards Luncheon on May 6 at the Georgia Freight Depot in Atlanta.

Brian Jordan, a former Atlanta Braves and Falcons player who is now a businessman and philanthropist, lauded the more than 600 winning Stock Market Game students and teachers.

"You've proven you're serious about business and the business of taking care of business. Maybe some of you can share your business advice with me," Jordan said.

Jordan, whose mother was a teacher, stressed the importance of education and preparing for the future.

"Learn now and be prepared to learn as much as you can at a young age. Never put all your eggs in one basket - it's so important to have a plan B, C, D, E and F," he said.

Each year, more than 35,000 students in public and independent schools participate in the Stock Market Game in Georgia. The Georgia Council on Economic Education has worked for the past 36 years to bring financial literacy and economic education to schools in our state. The CFA Society of Atlanta, the Bank of America, the Foundation for Investor Education, the Georgia Securities Association, INVESCO, Morgan Stanley, Primerica/Citigroup Foundation and the Securities Industry Association/Southern District support Georgia's Stock Market Game.

To learn more, visit the Georgia Council on Economic Education Web site at www.gcee.org.

This news was submitted by Steve O'Brien.

Heather Darenberg writes about education. Good News From Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Gwinnett Daily Post. For more good news, visit www.gwinnettdailypost.com Monday.