Junior Sophia Martino has won the Chatham High School Financial Literacy Stock Market Challenge game with an impressive 8.2% return on her investment. CHS business teacher Michael Loomis coordinates the game with his students in every Financial Literacy class. Students each have an imagined $100,000 to invest in stocks or mutual funds for companies that either they believe in, or choose randomly.
In the five-week contest, Sophia increased her $100,000 to $108,200 by investing in pharma companies such as Abiomed, Inc. (22% return in time period) and Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (21%) and also well-known companies like Apple (14%) and Ferrari (10%).
In second place was sophomore Chris Hansen who finished with a return of 6.5%. His investments included clothing retailer Zumiez (14% return), and Nike (10%). Third place was won by Kaleb Taylor with a 5.7% return on his investment. He earned the bronze by investing in software company First Data Corp (13% return) and clothing retailer American Eagle Outfitters (11%).
Mr. Loomis said, “The class really got involved in researching what stocks to invest in this year. All but one student made a profit and they learned how the stock market works and how investing can help them earn more money than merely saving.”
Financial Literacy is a 1/2 year elective where students learn about budgets, debt, credit, checking accounts, identity theft, and investing. It is recommended that all students consider taking this class before they graduate. Michael Loomis is the high school’s business teacher and work-based learning coordinator, and is a certified public accountant with experience in accounting and management prior to coming to Chatham. In addition to financial literacy, next year’s business classes include Introduction to Business, Computer Applications, Accounting, Business Law and CEIP (Career Exploration Internship Program).