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Students take top places in Hawaii SMS

Academy AP Economics classes participated in the Hawaii Stock Market Simulation (SMS) from Feb. 16 to Apr. 24. The ten-week simulation is sponsored by the Hawaii Council on Economic Education.

The classes invested a fictional $100,00 in stocks and bonds, learning how to balance their portfolios as stock prices changed on a daily basis.

AP Economics teacher Lurline Choy said, “All economics students were provided with the opportunity to learn basic investment skills.  Teams of two or three were formed in all econ classes this past semester. This semester 3,323 students and 56 teachers from 44 statewide schools participated in the HSMS. Students invest a hypothetical $100,000 in stocks and bonds, balancing between the two according to their investment style.  In the case of the Income Growth division, they needed to maintain a 50 percent balance between stocks and bonds.”

Sophomores Ellie Ramirez, Ji-Won Ha and Taryn Wong won first place in the Income Growth division. The sophomores led the competition for over eight weeks. Seniors Xuyan Zhang and Jennie Oh took second place in the Income Growth division. The Academy has had a team listed every week in the Tracking Report listed in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Wong said, “The hardest challenge was choosing the right stocks and experimenting. We started off pretty low in the rankings due to some bad stock investments so we switched out what we invested in for another company that had good investment graphs (their past year and month graphs were steady and showed upward sloping market investment).”

The sophomores will receive a $50 Smart Piggy investment card and the seniors will receive a $25 Smart Piggy investment card. The cards may be converted into cash or used to invest in stocks or bonds.

Ha said, “I learned how to think ahead and take risks, like trust my instincts. And also be able to make big decisions cohesively within my group.”

Zhang said, “This experience helped me decide my major, which is Business Information analysis. I also enjoyed cooperating with Jennie during the investment process.”

Choy was very proud of her students’ accomplishments.

Choy said, “All of the participants worked hard and did well in this semester’s simulation. Many teams were in the top ten; however, they only recognize the top two in each  level.  I did little. I provided worksheets for the girls to complete  which  helped them narrow their stock choices and continually reminded them to ‘balance’ their portfolio.”

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