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Students learn the tools for wise investing

Union Leader Correspondent

May 19. 2017 12:19AM
Ben Sorber, left, and Jake Materese of Hampstead Academy participate in Thursday's award luncheon for the 2017 Stock Market Game at Fidelity Investments in Merrimack. (KIMBERLY HOUGHTON/Union Leader Correspondent)

MERRIMACK — Young investors were rewarded Thursday for their wise financial strategies and economic perceptiveness.

With $100,000 in simulated cash, students throughout New Hampshire have been testing their luck in the 2017 Stock Market Game offered by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Foundation.

The online game, which enables students to purchase imaginary stocks and monitor their investments before cashing in on their returns, was played by thousands of teams at dozens of schools throughout the state.

“The truth is, kids are great investors — you drive the economy,” Rachel Bonnette, a senior high net worth service specialist at Fidelity Investments, told a group of award winners.

Investing in stocks such as Wendy’s, Amazon and Nike, students were able to gain significant returns in the game, which is played annually by more than 600,000 students nationwide.

“Our goal is to provide a foundation for students to make smart decisions,” said Jim Ford of the SIFMA Foundation.

Presented by the New Hampshire Union Leader as part of its Newspapers in Education Initiative, and sponsored by Fidelity Investments, organizers say the simulation of the global capital markets is a great way to engage students in financial planning, savings and investments.

Several students from throughout New Hampshire were chosen as the 2017 Stock Market Game award winners, and had the opportunity on Thursday to tour the 500-acre campus at Fidelity Investments in Merrimack as a reward.

Honored with a pizza party and awards ceremony, the winning teams were recognized for their wise investment choices.

“Young adults are setting the fashion trends for the future, and there is great interest in what you do,” said Chase Martel, director of Stock Plan Executive Services at Fidelity, explaining how their interests play a significant role in the stock market.

He praised the group for thinking outside of the box and investing in stocks other than Apple.

“I didn’t know anything about the stock market before this game,” said Cole Dionne, a student at Nottingham West Elementary School in Hudson. “Amazon was the best stock that we had, and it performed very well.”

Dionne said he learned a lot about saving money, the importance of research and the need to be patient throughout the game.

The New Hampshire Union Leader provides more than 200,000 newspapers to students each year, which are used, in part, to help research stock market changes, said Emily Whalen of the Union Leader.

“The market and finance, in general, seems a mystery to so many people,” said Justin Bentley-Melle, an adviser with Sandown North Elementary School.

He said the students were eager to research the stock market daily, and build a spirit for financial education throughout the school.

Teams that won hailed from: Sandown North Elementary, Hampstead Academy, Canterbury Elementary, Nottingham West Elementary in Hudson, Gilbert H. Hood Middle School in Derry, Greenland Central School, Belmont Middle School, Alvirne High School in Hudson, Nashua North High School, Oyster River High School in Durham, Merrimack High, Stevens High School in Claremont, Exeter High, Lin-Wood Public School in Lincoln and one home-schooled team.

Jaisen Soundar of Hampstead Academy secured first place for the state’s middle school division of the game’s InvestWrite competition, joined by Jessica Nelson of Concord High who placed fourth in the national division and Gabrielle Frugard of Hollis-Brookline High School who took sixth place nationally.

Alvirne High School took home the most winnings with an equity of $132,590.

Business Merrimack

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