The spring session of the South Dakota Stock Market Game (SDSMG) concluded its 10-week trading session on April 20.  Nearly 500 students from 21 South Dakota schools formed 239 teams of stock market investors.


Investors 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.  Student teams competed for prizes in three competitive divisions.


The largest division was the High School Division with 197 teams from 18 high schools. The winner was Faith High School.  They had the highest ending portfolio in the state at $ 114,976, with an impressive return of 15 percent, considering that the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index returned about three percent during this time.  Teacher Deanna Fischbach used the program in her economics classes.


The winner of the College Division was Black Hills State University.   Jonathan Schneller, BHSU business administration major from Canton, had a final portfolio of $ 109,292.  He played the game as part of his personal finance course requirement. 


The winner of the Middle School Division was Belle Fourche Middle School.  Teacher Kristy Messner used the program in her math classes.


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).  According to Don Altmyer, director of the BHSU Center for Economic Education, this SMG program is consistently identified as the leader in youth financial education and the only program proven in rigorous, independent studies year-after-year to raise math test scores, economics test scores and personal finance test scores and to change financial behavior for the better for students and teachers. 


Over 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, where students are challenged to think critically about real-world financial issues by preparing an essay 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 BHSU, the Securities Industry Financial Markets Association 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 Fall 2012 SDSMG session starts on Monday, Oct. 1.  Registration begins on Aug. 1. To register, go to www.stockmarketgame.org.  For more information contact Altmyer at Don.Altmyer@BHSU.edu.