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Bullish on the market

By Staff
Hartselle team's efforts pay big dividends in stock game
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
A team of three eighth graders from Hartselle Junior High School-Alex Holmes, Madeline Golden and Danielle Carden-captured first place in a statewide stock investment competition in which 1,200 students from 42 different schools participated.
To commemorate their achievement they claimed a $500 cash prize and each received a trophy and a T-shirt.
The Alabama Stock Market Game is sponsored by Sterne Agee in cooperation with the Alabama Council on Economic Education. Its purpose is to promote financial and economic literacy.
Three other teams representing HJHS were recognized for finishing the competition among the state's top 10 teams. Each team member received a T-shirt. Mason Nowka and Blake Holaway finished in sixth place, Sam Harris, Samuel Segars and Landin Henderson, seventh; and Audrey Smith, Hope Lewis, Savannah Lacy, Christy Penn and Jacquieline Shadden, ninth.
Holmes, Golden and Carden competed against 117 teams in the North Region. They turned their $100,000 portfolio into $122,693.81 in just 10 weeks. They researched and invested in real stocks and mutual funds in real time just as investors do on Wall Street. The 21 percent return they received on their investments was an accomplishment many stockbrokers would envy.
"They not only won the North Region, grades 4-8 division, they finished the contest with the highest overall portfolio of any team in any division, grades 4-12," said advisor/coach Wanda McAbee, Hartselle Gifted Program coordinator.
"We're always happy to have winners," McAbee said, "but we don't measure our success on that alone. All of the students who participate are winners because they learn a lot about the stock market and investing."
The game winners nosed out three Huntsville teams in the final week of competition to take the top prize. They indicated that their success had a lot to do with their decision to purchase a lot of shares of stock in Weatherford International, Inc., a company that specializes in manufacturing products and providing services for other companies engaged in drilling for natural gas.
"This is the nation's premier on-line stock market experience, said Steve Rapp, ACEE marketing and development director. "The game competition is an amazing experience that excites the kids and the teachers, Thanks to our sponsor, teachers and students get free investment guides and textbooks."
The Alabama Stock Market Game is a10-week on-line stock trading experience. Students begin with $100,000 and may purchase stocks and mutual funds and make any number of trades with their available funds. Teams compete in real time with real costs on the same computer system that operates the New York Stock Exchange. The teams with the most valuable portfolios at the end of the 10 weeks win their competitive division. Students are divided into North and South as well and upper and lower divisions. At the end of the game's spring session, one Alabama teacher will win a trip to New York City and a visit to Wall Street.