SANFORD -- A team from a Business Finance class at Central Carolina Community College won the collegiate division in recent competition of the Stock Market Game.
The SIFMA (Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association) Foundation is responsible for the program. Amber Thomas, CCCC Business Technologies Instructor, worked through the non-profit North Carolina Council on Economic Education, which administered the project.
Members of the CCCC team were Jessica Richardson, Anthony Mitchell, and Sandra Olmsted.
The CCCC team placed first among 26 teams in the collegiate division. In the eight-week session of the game at-large, the CCCC team ranked third in the state out of 1,317 teams. They turned their initial $100,000 portfolio into $117,948 in eight weeks.
The game allows students to manage and invest a portfolio of $100,000 virtual dollars. Their investments are linked to the actual stock market. There are certain rules they must follow regarding how purchases are made, but they have lots of freedom to be creative and formulate their own beliefs and ideas to invest their money.
The team's portfolio included TESARO Inc., J2 Global Inc., Boeing, Charter, Disney, and Duke Energy.
The team reported that its primary goal was to make money without losing what they had to invest. The criteria they established to select the companies to invest in were:
So what did the students learn?
"I learned how to work Google finance and the stock websites to find what I am looking for," said Jessica Richardson, of Spring Lake. "I got to see how different events affect the prices of the stocks."
Anthony Mitchell, of Zebulon, noted, "I learned how to watch stock prices to decide when to buy and sell."
"The stock market game taught me to make buying and selling decisions through evaluating the impact current events have on the stock," said Sandra Olmsted, of Laurinburg. "Also, the game gave me the opportunity to trust my decisions on investing without the risk of losing personal funds."
The CCCC team reported that its investments increased slowly throughout the game and no major loss was noted. "We chose a strategy and stuck with it and in the end it paid out. Our stocks performed as expected."
"This semester we decided to run the game in one class, try it out, see how the students responded, and, most importantly, what they learned. I was beyond impressed by the level of sophisticated decisions and choices that were formulated and made during the trading season," said Thomas.
"The tools they used to assist them to make decisions throughout the game, along with the actual simulation and real world feel, decreased student's level of anxiety and fear toward the stock market," she said. "Each team noted during their presentation how amazed they were by how current news articles directly impacted these companies and, as a result of this, I saw an extremely high level of decision making that was truly analytical. They were putting everything together and continued looking for additional clues, signals, and data to support their choices. This is perhaps my favorite aspect of the game."
Thomas noted that the students were excited throughout the competition and every person in the class reported that they would love to play again.
For more information on the CCCC, visit the website www.cccc.edu.
Central Carolina Community College Business Technologies Instructor Amber Thomas (left) is pictured with three of her students -- Jessica Richardson, Anthony Mitchell, and Sandra Olmsted - who comprised the winning collegiate team in recent competition of the Stock Market Game.