Sophomores win second place in SMS

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Sophomores win second place in SMS

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Academy Economics classes took on the challenge of the annual Hawaii Stock Market Simulation (SMS) from Feb. 10 to Apr. 18 in a competition of investment.

The SMS is sponsored by the State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and the Office of the Securities Commissioner as an online educational tool that helps students learn about economics, finance and current events. Over 10 weeks, teams of two to four students invested $100,000 of hypothetical money in real stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

Sophomores Karly-Lou Ayano, Noelle Yamamoto and Jayla Wakabayashi placed second overall in the competition.

Teacher Lurline Choy said,  “I had no part in the girls’ achievement but only reminded them to check Hawaii SMS every day. In order to do well in this game, they needed to balance and maintain a certain percentage in bonds and stocks.”

As teams bought and sold stocks and bonds, students saw the positive and negative effects of their investments.

Wakabayashi said, “We invested in companies such as Macy’s, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, CVS Caremark Corporation, Apple and Netflix. We wanted to invest in popular companies that were doing well and also the ones that were steady every day. Since Taco Bell is a very popular company, we wanted to invest in it because we thought that it would do well each day. However, over time, we observed that our investment in Taco Bell brought us down a bit because they did poorly on several days.”

Yamamoto said, “It was really hard to make the right decision on whether or not we should invest in a certain company. Our main challenge was finding what companies to invest our money in because we wanted our money portfolio to be balanced.”

The experience of participating in this stock market simulation gave students lessons of teamwork and tools for smart investing, which can be beneficial to them in the future.

Wakabayashi said, “By participating in this simulation, I learned that there is more to money than spending on a daily basis. It is not only consumers spending money, but the stocks also need to spend money. When working with money, it is not only about spending money and meeting the requirements, but it is about spending and keeping a balance on money. This project needed to be done in teams, which meant teamwork. We didn’t argue about any decisions that were made because we all had similar ideas that we wanted to pitch in. Overall, our team worked well together and wouldn’t mind working with them again.”