Two students at North Toole County High School (NTCHS), Wyatt Manthey and Cade Hanson, teamed up under advisor Jeff Nix to embark on fantasy economical adventure. They put their skills to work in the stock market in the competition sponsored by the Montana Council on Economic Education.
A total of 318 high school teams from across Montana competed in this year’s event for the chance to win one of five cash prizes and show-off their stock savvy. Hanson and Manthey prov-ded to be a force to be reckoned with as they placed fifth and each received $50.
The top five Stock Market Game teams were: first place, Westby High School; second place, Polson High School; third place, Great Falls Central High School; fourth place, Fairview High School; and fifth place, Sunburst High School.
“For the game they were given an account with $100,000 to invest in any stock that is listed in the NYSE or NASDAQ stock exchange,” said NTCHS business teacher Jeff Nix.
“The main stipulation during the game is that you must build a diversified portfolio and must purchase a minimum of 10 shares to invest in a company.”
Not only did Manthey and Hanson research the businesses by looking at their financial success, but they also watched news headlines and social trends to determine the viability of the company. The teens made some great choices and were able to take their $100,000 and turn it into a profit. They finished with a total ending equity of $121,701.56!
“The boys still had about $1,000 in cash that they did not invest in stocks and were able to earn an additional $140.49 in interest,” added Nix.
The contest ran from Oct. 12 to Dec. 11 and encouraged middle and high school students to learn about and experience the workings of the stock market. During the competition, students must invest in at least five stocks or mutual funds, which promotes research and diversification. The state’s top five teams receive cash prizes through sponsor Glacier Bancorp’s family of Montana banks.
“The Stock Market Game applies experiential learning using a simulated portfolio against the real stock exchange,” said MCEE executive director Dax Schieffer. “Students conduct research, apply strategy and even consider brand loyalty for their picks. But just like in the real world, the market moves up and down, so they can learn lessons while not risking real money.”
Hanson and Manthey researched and carefully chose their stocks. Those providing the biggest return for the duo were RIOT Blockchain, 141 percent gain; Moderna Inc., 60 percent gain; Pfizer, 11 percent gain; Ecolab, nine percent; Molson Coors, 8.4 percent; and Roku, eight percent gain.
“Moderna, which produced one of the vaccines for COVID-19, is a young company of only 11 years that is being heavily invested in on Wall Street,” said Nix. “COVID-19 has certainly impacted the stock market. Bitcoin has and is taking off as a new and secure way to transfer funds between users without paying service fees to a third party. Therefore, all the business students in Sunburst were looking at which companies had put themselves in a good position to change and adapt their service and products to meet the rapid changes that were caused by this pandemic the world had to face.”