New York, NY – Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Jordan Pelzer is getting a head start in investing. Now in grade eight at New Bridge Academy in Cayce, South Carolina, Pelzer pored over his research into the financial markets to build an investment portfolio geared for long-term financial success. Pelzer’s approach led to a thrilling achievement in the SIFMA Foundation’s Fall 2022 InvestWrite competition.
Pelzer competed among thousands of other students around the country to write the best essay about long-term investing and the capital markets in the middle school division. Pelzer and his teacher, Harmonica Hart, were honored by the SIFMA Foundation and SC Economics during a school presentation on February 28, 2023.
SIFMA Foundation’s InvestWrite national essay competition bridges classroom learning in math, social studies, and language arts with the practical research and knowledge required for saving, investing and long-term planning. It also serves as a culminating activity for The Stock Market Game™, a curriculum-based financial education program that challenges students to manage a hypothetical $100,000 online portfolio of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and cash over a semester or school year.
SIFMA Foundation’s programs are proven to increase participants’ test scores in math and economics, encourage students to think more about budgeting and financial planning, enable them to work in teams to build their interpersonal social-emotional learning and better prepare them for college and careers. The SIFMA Foundation is committed to closing the opportunity gap by fostering greater knowledge of the financial markets for young people of all backgrounds, with a focus on underserved youth.
“I am thrilled to congratulate Jordan, his teacher and their school,” said Melanie Mortimer, President of the SIFMA Foundation. “Through participation in the Stock Market Game and InvestWrite, Jordan has acquired insights and gained confidence to embrace financial opportunities, research and make informed financial life decisions, and achieve better financial life outcomes.”
Pelzer reflected on his approach, “After being in The Stock Market Game, I learned how to work in a group with other investors to invest money, to make money, and to spend money. If I could give any advice to a future investor, I would say keep watching the financial news reports; don’t go to sleep. . . always watch your stocks; have a good healthy plan to always monitor your investment without becoming consumed by the changes; and finally in the words of Nike, ‘Just Do it!’ ”
The Stock Market Game and InvestWrite are offered in South Carolina through SC Economics. “We honor and congratulate Jordan and his teacher, Harmonica Hart,” said Jim Morris, CEO of SC Economics, “By making economics fun, interesting and relevant through The Stock Market Game and InvestWrite, we can help fulfill our mission for South Carolina students to leave high school with a sound foundation in economic principles, an understanding of our economy and how it works, and a strong appreciation for the American free enterprise system.”
The Fall 2022 InvestWrite competition presented the following challenge to 4th-12th graders –
There are valuable research sources to help you make informed choices when developing your Stock Market Game investment portfolio. Discuss what you think are the most important things to research and use those to select a portfolio of stocks/bonds/mutual funds you think will be successful in the long-term. Explain why your selections will make good long-term investments.
Pelzer captivated the panel of thousands of expert judges from across the financial services industry with a thoughtful and insightful essay.
Winning Essay by Jordan Pelzer …
“Valuable Research Sources to Help Make Informed Choices”
Yogi Berra, an American professional baseball catcher, once said, “The future ain’t what it used to be.” To me, that is true about the stock market. The stock market is not the same anymore. It has really changed a lot. People have learned how to make wiser choices than they did before. For example, in the late 1920s, the stock market crashed, leading to the Great Depression years. People lost their lives as a result of poor stock investment decisions. Today, people do more research to help them make good decisions about their stocks and their future. In the next few paragraphs, I will share information about my stock portfolio options and discuss the research tools that my team and I used to make long-term investments in the future.
A successful stock that I chose was Nike (NKE). This company is popular. According to STASH Investment, Nike, Inc. "is engaged in the design, development, marketing and selling of athletic footwear, apparel, equipment accessories, and services.” I selected this company because a lot of people buy their products. This stock was worth $99.27 per share when I bought it in September. Now, the stock is worth $111.16 per share. This stock has increased since I first started. I believe that it increased because it is getting closer to the Christmas season and people are rushing to buy Nike items before they run out. When I compared Nike stocks with Foot Locker (FL) stocks, I learned that historically, Nike has been around longer than Foot Locker. This is important because Nike customers know their products and are more likely to buy Nike than Foot Locker items because the company carries the names of popular celebrities and athletes. In the next paragraph, I will share information about the resources and tools that I used to select a successful company for The Stock Market Game.
One of the resources and tools that I used to help me select my stock market portfolio was a financial website called STASH. I used this website to study how the Nike stock changed weekly, monthly, and yearly. This was helpful because I could study to see how previous stocks in the Nike company changed over time. Also, this website gave me the history of the company to help understand what it does to make money. I also used the MSN Money website. At this website, I could use the tool “Analysis Recommendation” chart to determine when to buy and sell additional stocks that I selected. Other tools that helped me select and monitor my stocks were Cable News Network (CNN) and Tik Tok. These tools helped me keep track of current events that would impact my stock selection.
Now-a-days people do more research to help them make good decisions about their stocks and their future. After being in The Stock Market Game, I learned how to work in a group with other investors to invest money, to make money, and to spend money. If I could give any advice to a future investor, I would say keep watching the financial news reports; don’t go to sleep. . . always watch your stocks; have a good healthy plan to always monitor your investment without becoming consumed by the changes; and finally in the words of Nike, “Just Do it!”
About the SIFMA Foundation
The SIFMA Foundation is committed to closing the opportunity gap by fostering greater knowledge of the financial markets for young people of all backgrounds. Drawing on the support and expertise of educators and the financial industry, the Foundation provides financial education to strengthen economic opportunity across communities and increase awareness of the benefits of the global marketplace. Since 1977, the Foundation’s most notable program, The Stock Market Game, has guided more than 22 million students on their path to financial independence by attaining stronger life skills, improving academic achievement, and boosting their social-emotional learning. For more information on the SIFMA Foundation, visit www.sifma.org/foundation.
InvestWrite® is a culminating activity for Stock Market Game students extending their classroom learning with a written challenge to address real-world financial issues and situations. Students must analyze, think critically and problem solve about a long-term saving and investing scenario. More than 260,000 student essays have been evaluated by their teachers and over 40,000 financial professionals have served as volunteer judges. Essays are judged by financial professionals who volunteer their time each year to ensure young people are exposed to the essentials of personal finance early in life. Judges evaluate students’ understanding of long-term investing, diversification, the global capital markets, and factors that drive investments as well as their expression of investment ideas in essay form. Winners locally and nationally rise to the top to earn exciting awards including laptops, classroom pizza parties, trophies, plaques and banners, and certificates.
For more information about InvestWrite®, visit www.investwrite.org.
About the SC Economics
SC Economics, a nonprofit organization, provides South Carolina K-12 students with the economic knowledge and financial skills needed to thrive in the dynamic economy. By providing quality training and up-to-date resources, SC Economics partners with teachers and school districts to help students develop decision-making skills needed to be informed consumers, productive employees or innovative entrepreneurs, thoughtful investors, and reasoned voters. For more information, visit www.sceconomics.org.
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