A group of elementary and middle school students proved they might be stiff competition one day for Warren Buffett by winning big in the state’s 2011 Stock Market Game (SMG).
A team of fourth- and fifth-graders at McGuffey Foundation School beat 1,700 other teams around the state to take first place in the elementary school division of the SMG’s main competition, in which students try to grow an imaginary $100,000 over 10 weeks.
A team of eighth-graders, also McGuffey students, took third place in the middle school division of that competition and first place in a different SMG category in which they gave an oral presentation of their investment strategy before a panel of judges at the University of Cincinnati last week.
The students beat out several high school teams in that contest and were awarded a free trip to New York City on May 19 to visit the Stock Exchange. While in New York, the students will give their presentation again to representatives of mutual fund companies: Goldman Sachs, Lazard and Jensen
McGuffey’s elementary team grew their stocks by 49 percent to $150,599.21. They won a $100 prize.
“I liked the challenge of it,” said a fourth grade team member. “At first we were in second place and then we moved into first and we were neck and neck with the team from Cincinnati Country Day School. It was exciting.”
The middle school team grew theirs by 26 percent, ending up with $127,174.
“I’ve played the stock market game for several years now,” said an eighth grade team member. “Before this year, I never thought I’d play the stock market when I grew up. Now that I’ve seen my stocks go up, though, I’ve decided I definitely want to invest when I’m older.”
“Both teams purchased silver and gold expecting gold to be the better stock,” said Marcia McIntosh, McGuffey math teacher. “But they found that because gold is more rare than silver and there’s more silver to be traded, so the price of silver went up faster. It was really interesting for me to watch them come to that conclusion.”
McGuffey Language Arts teacher Susan Guidi who worked with the eighth-graders on their presentation said the four teens gave a polished performance that impressed the judges.
“I knew they would excel in their presentation,” said Susan Guidi, McGuffey Language Arts teacher. “They get a lot of experience with public speaking here at school and they also participate each year in the Model United Nations, which gives them extensive experience in presenting before an audience. They were very polished and comfortable and one of the judges even commended them for that right after they finished.”