Belmont secondary business education 10 student Dylan Kaplan inspects the performance of one of his stock interests during a recent class. The students are participating in Junior Achievement B.C.’s Stock Market Challenge for 40 days

Students and stocks a good mix at Belmont

Junior Achievement program helps demystify investing for young business students

Most of the students in Tom Grainger’s Business Education 10 class at Belmont secondary are staring intently at their computer monitors.

Entranced by the very fluid nature of business stock prices – every minute or so the figures change, based on trading in the various exchanges – the teams are watching for the right time to buy, or sell, as a way of boosting their portfolio. But this exercise requires a lot more than simple guesswork.

“We’ve been watching (tech company) San Disk. It jumped a lot today based on its quarterly earnings announcement,” says student Dylan Kaplan.

He matter-of-factly adds, however, that he wouldn’t invest in the company in the real world, based on their earnings history.

Learning how to research stocks is one aspect of the Investment Strategies Program, sponsored by Junior Achievement B.C. The non-profit’s online Stock Market Challenge sees pairs of students given $100,000 of simulated money  to invest. They began with a four-day tutorial on the software, but have embarked on a 40-day challenge in which they monitor their portfolio and try to maximize profits, in competition with high school business students from B.C. and Alberta.

“Courses like this help to demystify the complex world of stocks and business,” says John Clarke, a Junior Achievement volunteer and commercial account manager with BMO Bank of Montreal in Langford.  He’s been working with the students once a week to give tips on investing and keep them on track.

Grade 12 student Curtis Whittla, a peer tutor for this group, took the class two years ago and gained a serious interest in investing. Already accepted into the commerce program at the University of Victoria, he used knowledge gained through the Junior Achievement module to help launch his real-world investments.

Having already begun his investment strategy and worked extensively with the Junior Achievement simulator program, he should have a leg up on his younger classmates. Yet on this day he’s been overtaken for the class profit lead by one of the Grade 10 teams.

The results look promising so far, with the top team in the class adding more than $7,000 to their initial $100G.

Even Clarke, a 32-year veteran of the financial industry, likes what he sees.

“I was very encouraged that students were investing in stocks that they’ve done research on.”

Teammates Ryan Backhouse and Bryce Tickner, who were sitting third overall for B.C. and Alberta, had invested heavily into oil and gas, a commodity Backhouse says “is always in demand.”

The two admit, however, that investing can be a risky business.

“For everyone who makes money in the stock market, there’s someone who loses money,” Tickner says.

Luckily for this group, the money to be made or lost is imaginary.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Savory School music room addition a hit

School’s PAC praises Legion’s generosity

‘It’s just hair:’ Central Saanich woman chops her locks for Wigs for Kids

Wigs for Kids BC will receive two 12-inch braids from Brentwood Bay resident Liza Glynn

Oak Bay volunteer fair aims to sew seeds of giving time

Oak Bay Volunteer Services hopes to attract the next generation

New orca calf in Salish Sea ‘healthy and active’

Birth cause for celebration but things still dire genetically, expert says

VIDEO: Excessive speed on the Malahat captured by dash cam footage

Poster calls driving ‘dangerous, obnoxious and disrespectful’

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

VIDEO: Mattress fire at Cowichan Hospital under investigation

The Cowichan District Hospital was locked down on Tuesday afternoon due to… Continue reading

Millennial Money: Don’t let Instagram envy get you into debt

A full 48 per cent of U.S. households have credit card debt

Jury debates fate of man accused of killing 12-year-old B.C. girl 40 years ago

Police allege Garry Handlen told a cop how he abducted, sexually assaulted and strangled Monica Jack in May 1978

Letters on way to all homeowners in B.C. speculation tax communities

Property owners have to register to avoid vacant-home tax

UPDATE: One person confirmed dead in Port Alberni motor vehicle accident

Rural residential road remains closed as RCMP, coroner investigate

Good Samaritan rescues cat found in heaps of garbage at B.C. landfill

The cat was abandoned and left to die at the Foothills Boulevard Regional Landfill, the BC SPCA says

Most Read