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JA Investor Challenge

It was an honor to help with the Junior Achievements Investor Challenge this past week.

The facility was transformed to emulate the feel of an actual stock trading floor, similar to the New York Stock Exchange, including floor traders equipped with iPads capable of instantaneously trading shares, video projection screens reporting real-time prices and team standings.

I was paired with a team of three high school students from the same school. My role was to be a mentor and advisor as the students experience the ups and downs of investments on the stock market.  I advised the students to look at all factors as they decide on an investment action, provide encouragement and support to students, but the investment decisions must be their decision.

Here were some of the rules:

Teams were given $500,000 in simulated money to purchase mock shares from a variety of fictitious companies in six sectors; retail, energy, utilities, finance, healthcare and transportation.

•Teams had the opportunity to receive an additional $25,000, if they complete lesson’s in class prior to the event and an additional $25,000 if their teacher registered their team by the early registration date.  Which our team did.

• The high speed program simulates a sixty-day trading period in less than two hours.

•Teams had the option to make their initial stock picks prior to the event, but some opt to start with cash. They could make their first trades as soon as the bell rings to signify the opening of trading.

•Each team had to designate a “banker” to keep track of the team’s holdings, and also someone to watch the movement of the sectors on the large screen to the right as you enter the room.

•Each team received a “trader” badge that they wore attached to their lanyard when they buy or sell for the team. The badge however may be travel between your team members.

Our team “Spider Monkey” consisted of 3 girls who were just thrown in at the last moment to fill in for another group that could not make it.  They all did great and ended up in the top 10 out of 40 teams.


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