7th Graders Really Are Smarter Than College Honors Students...
Or Maybe Just Better Short-Term Investors
Winners of the First-Ever Westminster Stock Competition Announced Jan. 24, 2008
SALT LAKE CITY – The results are in. The Rowland Hall-St. Mark’s School seventh graders have officially beat Westminster’s Honors students in the first-ever stock competition. The winners were announced Jan. 24, 2008 in the college’s Center for Financial Analysis (CFA).
The competition began Nov. 30, 2007 when 19 seventh graders and a group of eight Honors students invested $1 million in simulated stock portfolios. The stocks were tracked in real-time by an online tool called investopedia.com. Then, the teams have battled it out to see who could pick the best stock portfolio.
And with the volatility of the market over the past several months, it was really anybody’s game…
"It was originally supposed to be a competition to see who makes the most money, but it ended up a competition to see who lost the least," said Ryan Hessenthaler, the director of Westminster's Center for Financial Analysis.
Students picked stocks from a variety of familiar consumer names, like Best Buy, Starbucks and Apple, as well as oil and beer companies.
"Our strategy was to, since it was a very short time, buy some very volatile stocks, which in the end came back to bite us because we didn't adjust our portfolio over time like the middle school did," explained John Cook, Westminster Honors student.
But in the end, it was the seventh graders who had the best strategy.
"We were in last place, so we sold our stocks, and we went to first place," said Rowland Hall student Saeed Shihab.
Dr. Richard Badenhausen, head of Wesminster’s Honors program, presented an oversized check to the Rowland Hall-St. Mark’s School winners made out for 10 large pizzas.
"These kids learned some valuable lessons about investing and money, and they got pizza," said Dr. Badenhausen.
Rowland Hall-St. Mark’s School (RHSM), Utah’s first independent day school, provides an enriched educational experience for college-bound students from age 2 through 12th grade. The school, located in urban Salt Lake City, is known for its small student:teacher ratio and the personal attention afforded by that aspect of the school’s mission. RHSM offers two personal finance classes for its students; one for seventh graders and another for high school seniors.
Westminster is a nationally recognized, comprehensive liberal arts college. With a broad array of graduate and undergraduate programs, Westminster is distinguished by its unique environment for learning. Westminster prepares students for success through active and engaged learning, real world experiences and its vibrant campus community. Westminster’s unique location, adjacent to the Rocky Mountains and to the dynamic city of Salt Lake, further enriches the college experience. For more information, visit www.westminstercollege.edu.