Stock Market Game Teaches Financial Literacy

Grace Palmer, Opinions Editor

“One of the main concerns is… lack of financial literacy,” said South High economics teacher Richard Nohel.

It’s clear that students in his class have made huge strides in this regard through something called the Stock Market Game.

The rules of the game: each team gets 100 thousand imaginary dollars to invest in real stocks on the New York or NASDAQ stock exchange. They are not allowed to invest more than twenty percent in one company and must buy at least 100 shares of each stock, which rules out a lot of big names like Apple. The players can buy and sell stocks at any time. Nohel’s students, juniors Bernabel Agualar and Jacob Roeche, went on to win the competition overall.

Agular and Roeche triumphed over 1,250 other teams in the state competition, setting a record as the first Minneapolis team to win in 23 years. “It was fun, sometimes – when we were doing good,” Agular commented, laughing. He said winning was “an honor.” By investing in stocks like Fedex and Amazon, he and his partner earned 40% return on investment over the course of the two and a half month competition. Comparatively, the second place team had 19% returns. Nohel won the teacher’s competition, but gladly pointed out that he made less money than his students.

South had not participated in the contest in previous years because of the high cost. Nohel said that a grant from Wells Fargo was “the only reason we did it.”

“We learned new things about finance and keeping track of your money,” Agular said. Nohel commented that he hopes his classes also learned about the connection between “society and the economy” by watching the market react to different events. His students will also be participating in the JA Titan game during March, which challenges students to make as much money as possible in a business simulation. It offers chances for winning students to compete at higher levels.