Monday, March 31, 2014

Local students win in the Stock Market Game - By Michelle Libby

Sixth grader Anthony Gugliuzza from Windham Middle School sat in the front row of the music room listening to Elizabeth Reidel, the vice president of sifma Stock Market Game program, talk about the fall 2013 Maine State winner of the InvestWrite Competition who was sitting in the room. It wasn’t until Reidel mentioned the stocks the winner invested in that Gugliuzza knew he had won.
Gugliuzza and his parents
In his essay, Gugliuzza was asked to identify something he would like to save for over a 10-year period and discuss what types of securities he would invest in to reach his goal. After thorough research, Gugliuzza had chosen NetFlix and Xylem, Inc., companies he believed were financially sound. 

Gugliuzza, the son of Kristen and AJ Gugliuzza, is a student athlete, on student council and involved with People to People Leadership Program in Washington D.C. Gugliuzza often takes it upon himself to make contributions to several charitable organizations. For winning he received a $100 gift certificate, a trophy which will be on display in the school’s trophy case and was invited to an award ceremony in Portland to be recognized again. 

Gugliuzza and his teacher Aaron Vachon
Gugliuzza’s teacher Aaron Vachon has been doing the program for seven years. “It teaches students about financial literacy at the middle school level,” said Vachon. In the Stock Market Game the students are given $100,000 to start and they have 10 to 15 weeks to grow their investment.

Gugliuzza’s essay began, “I am here today to outline for you my 10-year investment goal. My goal is to save enough money to pay off my college loans. In 10 years I will be 21 and in my senior year of college. When I get out of college I don’t want to have high student loans to pay off. I will have other expenses I will need to take care of such as living expenses, a car payment and many other “adult-like” expenses that may come my way.  

Although he won for his stock-savvy, Gugliuzza still wants to be a professional football player.
“Maybe he should be doing my portfolio,” his dad said. “I wish I’d had exposure to this when I was in school. It’s pretty neat hearing his stories from class.”

JSMS Elementary winner

Louden Greene from Jordan-Small Middle School was the State of Maine first place winner in the sifma Foundation’s InvestWrite essay competition for the elementary school level. In a ceremony on March 20, Greene was recognized in front of his peers for the essay he wrote. Greene’s essay was titled, “How I got Money to Pay for My College Education.” He started the essay by saying, “My goal is to make $100,000 in 10 years by investing in the stock market. With my money I'm going to go to college to be a paleontologist. I have to go to college to learn the skills, study dinosaurs and get a four-year degree. I picked this field because I like dinosaurs and I think this profession will make me a lot of money.”
The students work in groups during the Stock Market Game program but then write essays individually about their experience.

Planning on reinvesting the dividends from his two stock choices, Apple and UPS, Greene feels he can accomplish this goal as both are steady stocks and react well to a stable economy.
Greene and his teacher, Jack Fitch, will both receive a cash prize. 

Fitch has been doing the Stock Market Game for 20 years, he said. “The first 10 years we didn’t come close to the top,” Fitch said. “The kids get pretty psyched. It’s another way to deliver math.”
Fitch, who has been teaching for 36 years, enjoys participating in the Stock Market Game with his classes and is proud to have an InvestWrite winner for the second year in a row.


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