The Stock Market
Mind Your Own Business
Money for College
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!
Dollars By Design
Life on a Tight Budget
History of Currency
A Shoplifter's Story
ON2 Money Credits
The students of Jefferson High School, Hillsborough, Florida
Journal entries from Cliff, Anya,
Vanessa, David and Kyle.
Investing did not seem like the most fun thing in the world to do. I had always been interested in business but not particularly in the stock market. I always thought that the stock market was only for the wealthy and well educated.
Boy, was I wrong.
When I was first introduced to the game, I knew very little about the stock market. I was not sure on how to pick stocks, read stock tables, trade stocks, or purchase stocks. However, now I am able to do all of the above and more. I first chose ten stocks off the top of my head. They were all companies that I was familiar with or knew at least a little about. After choosing those ten stocks, I then charted them over a span of about one-month.
After analyzing my ten stocks, I then broke ten stocks down to five stocks. While breaking down the stocks, I had to decide why I would select those five. I chose those five stocks because they were on the verge of splitting, had high dividend return, high book value, and were aggressive stocks. I had been learning about the stock market over the month and realized that I was young and could take a chance on aggressive stocks.
The one thing that I learned from the stock market game that was probably most beneficial was that the stock market is not a thing to be scared of. It is not that hard to learn about the stock market. I learned the basics in one month. Now I read the stock quotes almost every day and plan to invest in stocks as soon as I have the capital. I participated in InvestSmart for about six weeks, my investments gained over $1,000 in that period. InvestSmart had to be one of the most interesting and influential things I participated in during high school. I am still amazed at how much it has taught me.
Before we started the investing game, my teacher told us to look through the Wall Street Journal and find stocks that would interest us.
I found about ten stocks that I selected either because I knew the brand name or I felt that it would be an excellent performer. For about two weeks, I charted my ten stocks.
After that time period, I felt it was time to choose my best performers. With five out the ten really doing well, I decided that my choices were made for me. I looked at the Dow Jones Annual Report to check how the stocks I had selected had done during the past year. Most of the stocks that I had chosen had done pretty well.
With the help of my teacher, I was able to log on to the Internet to play this game. As I started the game, I was excited to actually be able to choose the stocks that I had researched.
After I was actually in the game, I became more interested in stocks. I would actually read the Business section of the newspaper and search for information about the stocks I had purchased.
For the first couple of days, I was number one in my class. But after a while, two of my stocks began to fall. My instinct was to sell the falling stocks. But I took my teacher's advice and decided that I would wait a week to see what the stock would do. Both stocks went down and I felt that it was time to sell. After selling the stocks, I bought a new stock and additional shares of a stock that I originally owned that I felt was doing well. Naturally, the newly purchased stock went down but the urge to sell wasn't as strong as before since I knew it was better to wait. Lucky for me, because my stocks earned me a lot more money than I expected.
Although our experiment is over, I still follow my stocks and continue learning about the stock market.
During my years in high school, I have always heard about stocks, but never knew what they were about-I just had a vague idea.
I had assumed that stocks were complicated and that I would need an expert to choose and play the stock market on my behalf.
Recently, my class was instructed by our advisor to pick ten stocks that we were interested in from the Wall Street Journal. We then charted twenty days worth of stocks. It was a task that was very time consuming, but truly worthwhile. My data helped me select the stocks that would most likely succeed. I printed a graph using the spreadsheet from Excel.
After I finished collecting all the data, I entered the amount of shares I wanted in the online computer. Every week or so I was given, along with my classmates, a portfolio summary that displayed how my stocks were doing. Another summary was posted on a bulletin board that showed everyone's totals and rankings.
This game taught me the basics of investing my money into stocks. I learned that the aggressive stocks are the ones that can make or lose the most money.
A speaker came into our class representing a certain company. He made it understood that one should not panic and sell a stock because it is falling. He reassured us that stocks are like the economy, after a recession there is growth.
Stocks, he told us, should be allowed a long period of time to accumulate money because of the constant fluctuation.
Investing with fake money was a great way for me to learn about the stock market-I can't stress that enough.
I never understood the process of buying and selling stock. I did not even bother to pick up the "Stocks and Investments" section of the newspaper.
Now, I not only read the Financial section in the paper, but I also know how to go about buying and selling stock.
My selections reflected companies that I have worked for and corporations/businesses whose products I personally use from day to day.
It was exciting to look through the paper (actually understanding what I was looking at) at make selections, being able to track their progress. When I graphed the results, it was amazingly simple to chose between the bad and good investments.
I was eager to see how much money I gained or lost, as well as where I placed in comparison with the rest of my class.
I learned that the market literally rises and falls on a daily basis. Just because you are doing excellent on day, does not mean you have it made. The stock quotes change by the hour. Therefore, it takes research and patience to succeed in the stock market.
The game showed us the roller coaster like motions the market had and how it could recover from these fluctuations. The reality of the market began to reveal itself.
I began to get edgy and sold off my main stock, instead of waiting it out; this move was an infantile error and a good example of my inexperience. After this, I bought an electronics store stock at a high price expecting and hoping it would keep going up. It did at first. Over time, the high purchase price began to fall resulting in a big loss for me. The purchase began to haunt me. I found myself getting involved in the game as if I really owned these stocks that I watched so carefully.
The electronics store became a nuisance, but learning my lesson from early mistakes, I held onto it. This move paid off over time, this stock came through and rose to over my original purchase price.
Other stocks fared better for me. One Internet stock was a slow starter, but after my initial thoughts of selling it passed, its performance potential started to show. It became a big performer; it made me 31.48% return in just 6 weeks. That yielded a return of over $10,000. This was my only big performing stock. It easily made up for my losses with its high yield.
I wish the game would be prolonged for a longer period of time, so I could show the steady progress of my stocks. It taught me to be conservative, yet aggressive.
As a young person my reasons for investing, I learned, are different from someone who is 35 years old and planning for retirement. If there is a crash or my stocks begin to fall, I am young enough to have time to recover.
After my experience with the stock market game, I feel more comfortable with making future financial decisions. This program allowed me to better see the diversity of the market. Being comfortable making large financial decisions is a marketable skill in the business community. In addition, these skills will help me become financially secure. The stock market, as I learned, is a very accessible and profitable investing tool. A tool I now feel comfortable and capable in using.
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