SALT LAKE CITY — The volatility of the stock market can create havoc for investors, but it can also teach valuable lessons to those willing to learn from the peaks and valleys of the exchange.

Some of Utah’s best and brightest students and teachers were honored Friday for their participation in the Stock Market Game, a statewide competition geared toward educating students about investing and teaching more about financial responsibility. Winners were recognized at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City.

The Utah Office of State Treasurer recently assumed the responsibility of administering the game from the Utah Division of Securities. Participants, who must be teachers or students from grades 4 through 12, managed their virtual stocks over a 10-week period, with the highest earning “investors” being declared the winners in various categories.

State Treasurer David Damschen, who chairs the Utah Council on Financial and Economic Education, said one of the main objectives of the council is to advocate for and strengthen financial education in Utah schools.

“The Stock Market Game piques student interest in some of the important concepts taught in the classroom by adding an element of competition,” he said. “I appreciate the incredible efforts of teachers and students to improve financial knowledge.”

He said the game itself teaches students about short-term price speculation and securities, along with long-term strategies, such as dollar cost averaging and portfolio diversification.

“This game does both,” he said. “The game they play is short-term price speculation and they learn those sound (long-term) investment principles as well.”

Damschen noted that recent fluctuations in the stock market have helped students understand the real-life swings the market can take in more volatile periods, particularly when the market had been experiencing an extended period of stability over the past several years.

“Some of the students may be picking up on some of the subtleties of the market as its going through some transition into a period of heightened volatility,” he said. “This is a great time for them to be tuned into this kind of subject matter and learning some of these lessons about how the market really functions.”

Northridge High School student Alexis Aguirre’s team placed first in the high school division. She said the game gave insight on investing they hadn’t had previously.

“My favorite part of the game was getting an opportunity to invest into a real-time market simulation — getting to see if the decisions we made would make …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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Utah students learn the ups and downs of the stock market

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