Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Students Buy Low, Sell High; at Switzerland Point, Young Investors Learn about Stock Market

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Students Buy Low, Sell High; at Switzerland Point, Young Investors Learn about Stock Market

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Scanlan, Staff writer

Some students at Switzerland Point Middle School made a killing in the stock market recently, making a $20,000 profit in investments over three weeks.

It's a pity it wasn't real money they were using when they took the Florida Stock Market Simulation and came in 33rd out of 3,800 public and private middle and high schools in the state.

The fall contest gave Florida school teams three weeks to invest a hypothetical $100,000 in stocks on the New York, American and NASDAQ exchanges, using the Internet to research, trade and monitor their performance.

Switzerland Point Middle School entered 14 teams of four to six students each, eight from sixth-grade teacher Kim Forgione's classes and the rest from Melissa Paquette's classroom.

It was the team of Alexander Culver, Rebecca Davidson, Cory Skinner and Jeremy Stoutamyer in Forgione's class that learned you have to spend money to make money, making the best profit on their "investment."

"We were looking for beer stocks like Budweiser at first, because we are at war, and everybody likes to drink beer [during times of war]. It really worked," said Skinner, the 12-year-old team captain. "It was a lot of fun. We did learn something -- doing stocks is very risky. We were down low in the market ranking, then all of sudden our stocks shot up."

Risky, but a lot of fun, added Stoutamyer, the team's 12-year-old researcher.

"It felt good," he said. "We learned that you can take a risk, that not all of the stocks will do well. You have to buy and sell and pay attention, and math can help, since it is being used in everyday life."

Murray Ruffell, program sponsor and a certified financial planner with Raymond James, said the students "were really into it," going with stocks they knew, and it worked.

"They made sound choices; they were very diversified because there are a lot of issues; and they margined to the max. We gave them $100,000 to invest. They could borrow another $100,000," he said. "They bought stocks, had a good market and used everything they could to make it go, and it worked. …

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