Utah students to be honored for winning investment strategies at January 10 awards banquet

Students, teachers, government officials and local business leaders will celebrate the 32 winning students and teachers of the Stock Market Game™ fall 2019 statewide competition during an awards banquet on January 10. The banquet, hosted by Utah State Treasurer David Damschen, will feature student speeches, information about the competition and opportunities to learn more about financial responsibility.

Ridgeline High School student Hunter Bingham’s team placed third in the high school division. Bingham said, “We learned to avoid the allure of winning in the stock market over a short period of time because so many other teams in our class lost.” The Ridgeline High School team discovered that short-term trading is not a sound strategy to use in real-world investing. Bingham added, “Outside of the Stock Market Game, we plan on making good use of tax-benefited investment vehicles, seeking diversified portfolios and avoiding overpaying for active management.”  

The Stock Market Game exposes youth to the stock market and gives teachers an opportunity to teach students important investing principles, such diversification, asset allocation, exponential growth and risk tolerance. HighMark Charter School student Matthew Behmer said, “Playing the game helped us improve our teamwork and decision-making, as we discussed companies as a team and decided which ones to invest in. We also learned about real-world situations and economic concepts.”

The Stock Market Game is a motivating curriculum complement to many subjects, including personal finance, math, social studies, economics, business education, college and career awareness, computer tech and marketing. Lucas Fullmer and Kobe Woodyatt of Legacy Jr. High School placed third in the middle school/jr. high division. Fullmer said, “It’s inspired me to think about careers in the business world and reminded me that you can be successful at anything if you just put your mind to it.”

In fall 2018, the Utah Office of State Treasurer assumed the responsibility of administering the game and the complementary InvestWrite competition, a writing contest that builds off of concepts learned through the Stock Market Game. In spring 2019, Abby Bowler, a former student in Syd Lott’s financial literacy class at Skyline High School, placed second in the national high school level and first in the state. In her essay, Bowler proposed an investment portfolio to “support refugees and asylum seekers worldwide.” The spring 2019 InvestWrite prompt for high school students, grades 9-12, focused on sustainable investing and creating a hypothetical ESG (environmental, social and governance) fund that would deliver long-term social and financial returns. Nearly 1,800 essays were submitted in the high school division. Treasurer Damschen presented Bowler and Lott with prizes in the Treasurer’s Office at the State Capitol.

“The Stock Market Game and InvestWrite competitions pique student interest in important concepts taught in the classroom by adding an element of competition,” Treasurer Damschen said. “I appreciate the incredible efforts of teachers and students to improve financial knowledge, and I look forward to the opportunity to celebrate their success.”

The awards banquet will be held at noon in the Bryce Ballroom at the Sheraton Salt Lake City Hotel. Registration check-in will be at 11:30 a.m. This event is open to the media.  Due to capacity limitations, other guests may attend by invitation only.

You can find a list of the winners of the Stock Market Game and InvestWrite competition at: https://treasurer.utah.gov/financial-literacy/stock-market-game/recent-winners/.