To buy or to sell? That is the question many adults may ask themselves when it comes to the Stock Market.
Local high school and middle school students recently stepped up to the challenge and competed in the Stock Market Game.
The Stock Market Game is an award-winning educational program from Economics Pennsylvania, a non-profit organization specializing in kindergarten through grade 12 economic and financial literacy across the state. The goal is to promote and encourage understanding of economic and financial literacy programs. Since 1977, more than 14 million students have participated in The Stock Market Game challenge.
KRISTEN WRIGHT/ Sun-Gazette
Montgomery Area High School and Middle School students who participated in the Stock Market Game challenge are shown with teachers Ryan Monoski and Jeremy Stetler, and sponsors Fred Becker of the Pennsylvania College of Technology; Bernard Oravec, of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette; and Bryan Holmes, of FNB Bank, of the challenge. Montgomery Area High School was in the lead throughout the challenge, but lost to Lewisburg on the final day.
The local challenge was sponsored by the Williamsport Sun-Gazette and FNB Bank.
Teams from East Lycoming, Loyalsock Township, Montoursville, Montogomery, Muncy, Williamsport and South Williamsport participated in the challenge. Teams of three to five students each were given a virtual cash amount of $100,000 in February, and competed to create the best-performing portfolio using live trading simulation.
"The schools got really excited," Carolyn Shirk said.
The students built their portfolios through stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Due to the short time frame of 10 weeks, most of the students decided to buy and sell stocks. Many of the students learned that just because a stock is popular at the time does not mean that it is smart to buy.
The competition was very close. Montgomery Area High School had been in the lead for a majority of the challenge, and many thought they were sure to win the competition.
On the last day of the competition, Lewisburg Area High School swooped in and took the lead and claimed first place in the state competition, leaving Montgomery Area High School in second with a total equity of $384,935.56.
"It was like a NASCAR race," Shirk said.
At the awards ceremony at Pennsylvania College of Technology, Bryan Holmes, president of FNB Bank and Bernard A. Oravec, publisher of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, spoke to students, who could attend the event, about what a great learning opportunities the students had through the challenge.
"I can assure you that what you learn today, you will remember it five to eight years down the road," Oravec said.
Holmes also spoke about the importance of saving money. He told the students that over 50 percent of Americans have very little in savings and 28 percent have nothing in savings.
"In the world we live in, it is we want it now," Holmes said.
He told the students that it will help them in the long run to save more and spend less.
"Everyone is affected by the daily movement of the stock market," Oravec said, "The Sun-Gazette has always supported area school district efforts to prepare young men and women for the future"
Shirk said that she hopes the students took away better understand of how economy works after competing in the Stock Market Challenge.