Matadors Conquer the Stock Market

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Fall 2012 Stock Market Game winners Mia Taapken, Gigi Axelrode, Alicia Sanchez and McKenna Scalise smile over their victory.

Karmi Chan, News Editor

Four Miramonte students recently tamed the bears and bulls of the financial zoo that is the stock market. Seniors Gigi Axelrode, Alicia Sanchez, McKenna Scalise and Mia Taapken placed in the top three teams in the Fall 2012 Stock Market Game competition in the California region.

Out of over 26,000 students and 6,587 teams in California, Axelrode, Sanchez, Scalise and Taapken placed in the top three. This accomplishment placed them in the top 1 percent of the nation and was a huge surprise for all the girls.

Throughout first semester, Campbell Hunter’s students participated in a stock market simulation. In this simulation, students started with $100,000 of virtual cash to invest in creating the highest achieving portfolio. Working together in teams, students competed for the top spot by applying leadership, cooperation, organization and negotiation skills. This simulation provides a hands-on activity that engages students and teaches them the ways of the stock market.

When building their portfolios, students were required to evaluate and research stocks. Hunter prepared his students by teaching them how to short sell, when to buy, when to sell and basic strategies of the game.

“He told us how to predict trends in the market,” Axelrode said. “He also told us not to invest in anything stupid.”

Hunter also provided students with background information about stocks. He explained the importance of thoroughly researching companies before investing and how to make wise choices.

“Campbell Hunter is to be commended for teaching academic skills and incorporating financial literacy in an innovative and creative way,” Maria Suggett, Western Region Director of the Fall 2012 Stock Market Game competition, said.

Axelrode, Sanchez, Scalise and Taapken invested in Netflix, Nike, True Religion and in businesses that help the environment. They chose these companies after a lot of examination and assessment, inspecting the graphs of each company to view their trends of rising and falling prices. Taking a lot of chances, these girls followed their guts and picked companies that they knew were popular.

“We chose our stocks based on what we knew was popular versus straight statistics,” Taapken said.

This team of four had very little previous experience with the stock market. The only knowledge they had was the stock market game played in eighth grade and information from their parents. Their little background knowledge of the stock market makes their accomplishments in the Stock Market Game even more impressive.

“Honestly I was so surprised,” Axelrode said. “We thought we were going to get last place but it’s cool we placed so high.”

“It feels incredible to be in the top three,” Taapken said. “Definitely a major honor.”

Awards and prizes will be presented to Miramonte’s winners at the annual Stock Market Game and InvestWrite Essay Competition award ceremony in May.