Black Hills State University student Megan Stevens, corporate communication major from Ashland, Mont., won the college division of the South Dakota Stock Market Game (SDSMG) fall trading session with a final portfolio of $113,851.
Nearly 500 students from 23 South Dakota high schools, middle schools and colleges competed in the 10-week trading session which ended in December. The schools formed 222 teams of stock market investors and received a hypothetical $100,000 to perform online investing in real-time stocks, bonds and mutual funds.
The program’s carefully integrated curriculum lets students experience the financial markets in the classroom as they learn about business, math, economics, personal finance and the importance of saving and investing for the long term.
The largest division this fall was the high school division with 179 teams from 17 high schools. Philip High School was the winner of the division with the highest ending portfolio in the state at $125,200, an impressive return of 25 percent considering that the Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained about 5 percent during this time, according to Don Altmyer, BHSU professor of accounting and coordinator of the SDSMG. Teacher Brigitte Brucklacher used the program in her personal finance classes, Altmyer said.
The winner of the middle school division was Edison Middle School in Sioux Falls with a final portfolio of $116,346. Teacher Tracie Moon used the program in her sixth, seventh and eighth grade gifted classes.
Altmyer said the program has been a great way to engage students of all ages. “Once teachers try it and see the (positive) reaction from their students, they usually come back,” he said.
Although the students are working with cyber dollars, they pick their portfolios and watch what happens. They really become invested in watching the market, Altmyer said. “The teachers say how motivated their students are to come to class.”
The BHSU Center for Economic Education has an exclusive license to operate the program in South Dakota with the Securities Industry Financial Markets Association (SIFMA). The SMG program is consistently identified as the leader in youth financial education and is the only program proven in rigorous, independent studies year-after-year to raise math and financial literacy test scores and to change financial behavior for the better for students and teachers. More than 600,000 students from all 50 states participate each year. The SMG program includes InvestWrite, a national essay competition that is the culminating SMG activity. Students are challenged to think critically about real-world financial issues by preparing essays about long-term saving and investing. Winners receive a paid trip to New York City and a visit to the New York Stock Exchange.
The SDSMG is sponsored by the BHSU Center for Economic Education, the SIFMA and the South Dakota Council on Economic Education. The BHSU Center for Economic Education is affiliated with the National Council on Economic Education and provides economic and personal finance programs for South Dakota middle school, high school and college students.
The spring 2014 SDSMG session starts on Monday, Feb. 10. Registration begins Jan. 1. To register, go to www.stockmarketgame.org. For more information contact Altmyer at Don.Altmyer@BHSU.edu.