Stock Market Game Shatters Records

The Spring, 2021 Financial Literacy Class Stock Market Game came to a close with amazing results. Three students in the class achieved higher rates of return than the previous all-time high recorded in the nine-year, 17-contest history of the game at CHS.

Junior Gabe Rippel was at the top of the leaderboard at the conclusion of the short, six-week contest with an astronomical 72.9% rate of return. Astonishingly, Gabe was almost beat out by sophomore Nathan Brown, who had a 74% return just hours before the game’s finish, but suffered late losses. Nathan still finished with a 70.3% return on his investment. Junior Nathaniel Loomis’s rate of return of 22.2% only landed him in 3rd place, even though he also achieved higher than the previous all-time high.
The previous record holder was 2013 winner Sanket Sharma, who achieved a 20.2% return. It was uncertain if anyone would ever topple the long-time leader, as the previous second-highest return was Jake Osborne in 2016 with a 15.5% return.
Financial Literacy teacher Michael Loomis had this to say about this semester’s contest, “With high risk, there certainly is a chance at a high reward – but there is also a chance at a large loss. Each student was given $100,000 to invest and it was up to them what kind of risks they were willing to take.”
The game follows the actual real-life values of stocks, mutual funds, and cryptocurrencies. The three rules in the contest are (1) students must purchase at least five different investments, (2) students must spend at least $80,000 of their money, and (3) they can only purchase investments that are trading for at least $2/share (or $2/unit in case of cryptocurrency). These rules ensure that students’ portfolios are diversified and that low cost, more volatile investments are avoided.
Mr. Loomis noted, “Even with the controls in place, there absolutely was a bit of volatility in the possible investments. For the first time, the game allowed cryptocurrencies to be traded, such as Bitcoin and Etherium. Reddit stock favorites of Gamestop and AMC also had a huge impact this year.”
Gabe Rippel was very actively involved in the game, purchasing and selling throughout. In Financial Literacy class, Mr. Loomis teaches the risks of day trading, and how investing should be looked at with a long-term view. However, with fictional money, students are much more willing to take chances. Gabe’s purchase of AMC Entertainment, Inc. (AMC) at $13.84 per share and timing of his sales when it was at $66/share and $57/share earned him a profit of $62,238 from this one stock. He also purchased Gamestop (GME) at $159.72 and the price per share went as high as $297.39 in the period, earning a profit for Gabe of over $15,000. Gabe’s other successful investments included BlackBerry (BB) and Ford (F), which earned him nearly $6,000 and $3,000, respectively. Gabe’s 17 other investments did not fare as well, but his portfolio diversification lessened their impact.
Nathan Brown was a more passive investor in the game, He decided immediately to also purchase AMC at $13.84/share. He held onto it until its current value of $54.59/share, netting an unrealized gain of over $61,000. Nathan’s choice of Alphabet, Inc. (GOOG) also helped, as it rose 7% in the period.
Nathaniel Loomis took a different approach, investing in cryptocurrencies Bitcoin (BTC), Etherium (ETH), and Etherium Classic (ETC). Nathaniel’s active strategy of buying when it was low and selling when it was high helped him gain over $21,000 on those three collectively.
Class members who had extremely good performances as well included Mateo Talbott, who had a 19.4% return, Matt Radley, with a 9.54% return, and Jay Wisseman, with a 8.75% return.
Each semester, the winner of the stock market simulation gets a cutout trophy and one copy is kept for a display in the classroom where Financial Literacy is taught. This year, trophies were awarded to recognize Nathan and Nathaniel for earning the 2nd and 3rd highest returns of all time.
Financial Literacy is a 1/2 credit class where students learn to manage their money habits, utilize a spending plan, manage checking accounts, and learn about building wealth through investing. They learn about the dangers of debt and identity theft. Additionally, they learn to save for an emergency fund, how to pay cash for a vehicle, and having zero or little debt for college.
Posted in High School.