Stock Market Lessons

ST. MARYS — Local students recently took a jab at stock trading in their government class.

Seniors in Michael Jay’s American government classes participated in Jay’s annual “Stock Market Game.”

During the game, each student was given an imaginary $10,000 sum to invest in the market. The students were allowed to pick up to five different companies/funds in building their investment portfolio. They were limited to only one “trade” during the course of the game to discourage what Jay noted as a “day-trading mentality,” which he noted is not a successful strategy for most investors.

The top 10 investors for this year’s game were the following students: Seth Fitzgerald with $20,621, Josh Taylor with $19,188, Paul Helmer with $17,401, Troy Secrest with $15,584, Anthony Tenney with $15,308, Makayla Rouse with $15,284, Nathan Michael with $15,053, Taylor Grant with $14,884, J.D. Meyer with $14,767 and Thomas Stuhlemmer with $14,688.

By winning the competition, Fitzgerald took home a belt.

“I picked Vivus, Amylin and Nike,” Fitzgerald said of his stocks. “Vivus is a drug company. It had a fat-burning pill. Amylin is a pharmaceutical company. My baseball coach, he does stocks, and he advised me to pick them.  And I chose Nike because I liked Nike stuff.”

Fitzgerald added his thoughts on winning the competition.

“I thought it was pretty cool to get bonus points and the belt that I won,” he said.

The “Outhouse Award” — an old decorated toilet seat — was given to Mitch Fowler, who lost the most money during the game and ended with $5,221. This year’s Outhouse Award was donated by Quality Plumbing and Heating.

Fowler noted he chose YRC Worldwide, but that wasn’t his first stock.

“I had a mid-game switch,” he said. “I was doing good and then I lost $1,000, but then I switched and put everything into a risky stock, and it went down.”

YRC Worldwide, he noted, is a trucking company.

“And after I bought it, gas prices went up, and then they reported like a $400 million loss,” Fowler said, adding he went with YRC because a friend suggested it. “Anthony Tenney told me to buy the stock — the valedictorian told me to buy it.”

Fowler’s advice for Jay’s next group of students was to not listen to Tenney.

“I would say buy low, sell high,” he said. “I bought mine at $14 and it went down to $6.”

Fowler added the Outhouse Award will be put on display.

“I’ve got a nice wall decoration,” he said.

Before the contest, the students completed a course unit on investing, during which they learned basic information on types of investments and how to research them. Financial advisers served as guest speakers during the unit, and they provided additional information and investment tips.

This year’s sponsor for the contest was the Ohio National Guard, who provided gifts to the top investors.