Craig Middle School students learn financial tactics |

Craig Middle School students learn financial tactics

7th-graders place 8th in state for mock stock market event

From left, Craig Middle School seventh-graders Eric Tansey, Jared Baker and Logan Knez celebrate with teacher Virginia Pugh after their eighth-place finish in the investment project The Stock Market Experience. Nearly 1,200 teams across the state competed in the event, sponsored by the Colorado Council for Economic Education.
Andy Bockelman

Most adults barely have a grasp on the intricacies of the financial world, but the students of Craig Middle School already have started thinking about what to do with their money when they get older.

A trio of CMS students recently placed third in the region and eighth in the state in the Colorado Council for Economic Education’s project, The Stock Market Experience. Seventh-graders Jared Baker, Logan Knez and Eric Tansey were among those honored at the Denver Zoo last Friday for their know-how in the ways of the marketplace.

CMS financial literacy teacher Virginia Pugh had a number of teams participating in the activity, which allowed each group to take an imaginary $100,000 and invest it into companies — based on real stock prices — or other fiscal plans to make as much of a profit as possible throughout the course of three months.

Pugh said the boys received a return of 163 percent, which helped them place high against nearly 1,200 other teams in Colorado schools. Pugh also received an award from CCEE as an outstanding teacher at the middle school level.

“We’ve done this before, but they’ve done the best of any class I’ve ever had,” she said. “I’ve learned so much this year.”

Besides the most rudimentary rule of stocks — buy low, sell high — Baker, Knez and Tansey learned to put their money into businesses that were popular and primed to go up in value.

McDonald’s stock, for example, wouldn’t be the best investment for such a project because of an already high value that would be unlikely to pay off for short-term investors.

One of the big moneymakers for them was sporting goods supplier Under Armour.

“What really helped us out is Under Armour had its biggest jump in history when we bought it,” Baker said.

The medical company Vicks, as well as commodities such as hogs, cotton and cocoa, also did well for them.

Research was crucial, and students received tips from local financial adviser Bryan Ludgate, with Edward Jones Investments.

The Stock Market Experience already has gotten Baker, Knez and Tansey interested in the possibility of taking on the enterprise in the future.

“When we get older, we can buy stocks, get some savings and put it toward retirement,” Knez said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Education.

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