By RANDY TATANO
Special to Atmore News
How would you like a 29-percent return on your investments in two weeks?
Maybe you should talk to the students on the stock team at Escambia County High School – because you don’t often run into teenagers who read the Wall Street Journal.
Dr. Douglas Forbes has taken his economics class to the next level with a statewide contest called the Alabama Stock Market Game which gives students online trading experience. But it goes beyond the buying and selling of stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Team members learn to research companies and keep up with trends in the economy, using that knowledge to make investments.
The contest is run by the Alabama Council on Economic Education. The five-member team started with an imaginary $100,000 and has built a portfolio totaling $129,000. (During that same period, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than one thousand points.) Even more impressive, the team was ranked number 8 out of 244 teams as of this writing.
Judah Dennis, Daniel Gunaca, Darron Nichols, D’andre Richardson and Hasten Dean make up the team, with all five honors students headed to college this fall. These extremely bright young men have no problem discussing the economics of investing and the strategies that go along with it.
Judah Dennis easily explained how cryptocurrency works, having had experience making a profit by investing his own money.
“I had an idea what to look for,” he said. As for the contest strategy, he said, “All trades are short term. We look at trends and how to predict them.”
Daniel Gunaca talked about selling one of the team’s blue chips on this day, as they felt Chevron might be headed down.
“We broke even on that one instead of taking a loss,” he said.
The team recently bought AirBnB, figuring that spring break and travel season is coming up.
Forbes (an appropriate name for someone instructing students about the stock market) said he’s teaching the team to make sensible investments.
“Buy low, sell high, and take educated risks,” he said, adding he wouldn’t be surprised if each team member became financially successful.
“Every one could be a millionaire by 35,” Forbes said. “They should build wealth that is generational.”
The teacher added that all students should learn the basics of saving, budgeting, investing and money management.
The contest ends on April 15, with the winning team getting $15,000 in real money for their school. Since they’re currently in the top 10, this team has a real shot.