Market of Ideas Blog

By Bob Glowacki

I think many of us fail to recognize what goes into finishing on top or receiving an award. We chalk it up to luck, good fortune or innate talents someone has that we lack. I hear it constantly. I never had a head for numbers. I don’t have time to learn about investing for my retirement. For many of us, it is just an excuse not to apply ourselves and learn something new.

I visited Dodgeville High School to award our Stock Market Game Grand Prize to five enterprising young women. We could assume they picked a stock at the beginning of semester, just good luck. We could assume they did well because the stock market was riding new highs.

Please don’t make that assumption, you would be wrong. These young women made 77 trades in a 10 week period. These young women took turns in their first period class to monitor their investments and search the news for new opportunities. These young women turned $100,000 into $156,000! Because of their focus and hard work, they each won $500 to invest and save for their future. Congratulations to Dodgeville High School students: Jenna Niemeier, Alyssia Alfred, Danielle Roh, Jenna Niemeier, Jenna Hying and Jessica Vinger. Special thanks to Mr. Jeff Bradley for being a great guide for these young people.

Now, you could assume we are encouraging speculation and day trading. Assume we are sending the wrong message about long-term investing strategy. Once you again, you would be wrong. Their teacher, Mr. Jeff Bradley reminds his students that this is a game strategy, not a long term investing strategy. His teaching bring in current events, knowledge of our economy, exposure to industries, potential career opportunities, knowledge of investing and building the habit of saving. Each semester he exposes his students to various market segments and industries. The students research these industries to find what areas could take off during the semester. Mr. Bradley regularly includes current events and how news can effect the markets. To reinforce lessons from his economics classes, he uses the Stock Market Game to show in real life the laws of supply and demand and market equilibrium.

The Stock Market Game is about research, current events and an exposure to one of the most dynamic markets in the world. The lessons and terminology these students internalize will applied to their future retirement account, investment strategy and a lesson on how macro level events can effect our personal financial well-being. This opportunity only happens because of our sponsors and donors like the Argosy and Knight Foundations and the Security Traders Association of Wisconsin who generously underwrite our school outreach and competitions.

Grand Prize team from Dodgeville High School