David Nickerson photo/Telegraph-Journal

SJHS sweeps top spots of stock market competition

by Telegraph-Journal staff - Monday, May 24, 2004

This article is courtesy of Telegraph-Journal

A group of Saint John High School students have proven their expertise on the stock market.

The school swept the top three spots for Eastern Canada in the 2004 National Secondary School Stock Market Competition put on by Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., for the first time since they started participating in the competition 15 years ago. They had a total of 15 teams in the competition.

The competition gave 438 teams in 69 schools across Canada $100,000 of virtual money to invest in the stock market. Each team was instructed to invest its money in companies which it thought would make the most profit and a winner was chosen for each different region.

Paul Hodgins, the students' economics teacher, said the experience the students received from the project is better than anything they could learn from reading a text book.

"We decided that it would be much better for them to actually get some hands on experience. This doesn't really cost them a lot of money because they've got nothing to lose and yet they can still get all the experience in the world."

Mr. Hodgins said the teams, made up of grade 11 and 12 students who were in the Economics class for the most part, gained a lot of knowledge from the experience.

"They just seem to be able to relate more to what's going on (with the stock market) after they've taken this."

Nic Guest, a grade 11 student who took part in the competition, said he learned a lot from the experience.

"I understand how the stock market works. We went over all the different ways you can trade stocks."

He said he took part because he plans to go into the business field and wanted the experience.

"I just thought it would be a good way to learn how to work the stock market. I figured it would be something I needed to learn how to do if I was going to take business."

The first place team won $250, a trophy for the school and each received a certificate.

The winter competition ran from February 2 to April 22.

Sandra Hughes, Director of the competition at Wilfred Laurier, said the students gain valuable experience through taking part in the competition.

"(The students) say that the hands on experience in dealing with real data is just a really good learning experience apart from the theoretical classroom perspective."

First offered in 1972, Laurier now runs the competition at the high school, university/college and MBA levels. Held twice each year, the national competitions teach participants about investing as they monitor stock quotations, submit daily trade requests and view their portfolios on-line.

Ms. Hughes said the interest in investing that is sparked by the competition benefits the university as well.

"There's a number of students who participate at the secondary school level who gain an interest in investing. Some of them come along to become Laurier students later."

A banquet will be held for the winners on May 31.

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