The familiar ring of the stock market opening bell kicked off the trading day for more than 150 Fairfield County high school students, who tested their trading and investing mettle at the 2018 Stock Market Challenge, offered by Junior Achievement of Southwest Connecticut (JASWCT) and co-sponsored by Patriot Bank.
Students from Trinity Catholic High School, Academy of Information Technology & Engineering (AITE), King School, New Canaan High School, Westhill High School, and St. Luke’s School comprised 40 teams at the fourth annual competition on Wednesday, April 18 at King School.
This year’s winning team, “Spark Investments” from Westhill High School, grew their half-a-million virtual dollars by nearly 103%, reaching a net worth of $1,013,674.34 over the mock 60-day trading period.
In second place was team “NCHS Stock Club 1” from New Canaan High School, which earned the second highest portfolio value. Students used their financial acumen to buy and sell stocks – with one minute equaling one day – during the hour-long competition, based on their quick analyses of earnings and profits value and risk.
The event was part of an initiative to increase financial literacy among young people, helping them to develop skills to evaluate debt and risk, accumulate savings, and make wise decisions about managing money.
“Children who learn financial literacy grow up to become adults understand personal finance, from creating a monthly household budget to investing for retirement,” said Judith Corprew, Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance and Risk Officer at Stamford-based Patriot, who leads the bank’s financial literacy programs. “I congratulate the young women and men who participated in the Stock Market Challenge for demonstrating their commitment to building knowledge about financial markets. These skills will ultimately have enormous value, both in their careers and their personal lives. We at Patriot Bank are honored to have been a part of that critical learning process.”
Each team was issued $500,000 in virtual cash to buy or sell shares in dozens of public companies. The mock trades were projected to three giant screens that tracked stock prices, stock performance graphs and displayed school team names along with portfolio values and rankings.
“These students learned a valuable lesson today about financial literacy and its many benefits,” said Jan Ursone, President of JASWCT. “This event demonstrates extraordinary interest among young women and men in this important topic.”
Patriot Bank is among the local businesses and organizations that sponsored the event as part of its initiative to help local schools and community organizations teach financial literacy.
Samuel Davis, Patriot Bank’s EVP – Chief Credit Officer, rang the opening bell. Mr. Davis has served on the JASWCT board for over a quarter century.
Junior Achievement inspires and prepares young people to succeed in a global economy. During the 2017-2018 program year more than 10,000 students will participate in Junior Achievement of Southwest Connecticut throughout the communities of Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk, Westport and Weston.