Judging Criteria

InvestWrite Topic For Grades 9-12, Spring 2015

The maximum number of words in the essay for this grade division is 1000 and the minimum is 400.

Background:  In his article “3 Investing Resolutions You Should Make in 2015,” analyst Brian Stoffel suggests investors “don't sell in 2015.” He explains, “Emotions can get us to do crazy things–and that's especially true for those that are saying to themselves: Sure, but that's not me.”

He also writes, “When I started investing, I always wrote down–in the simplest way possible–exactly why I was buying shares of a company, and what it would take to get me to sell shares.”

Essay Question:  Select two distinctly different stocks, bonds, and/or mutual funds from your Stock Market Game portfolio or choose two distinctly different stocks, bonds or mutual funds you believe would be good investments.

For example, the stock or bond of a food industry company like McDonalds is distinctly different from a stock or bond of a technology industry company like Cisco. A mutual fund like the Fidelity Select Consumer Staples Portfolio (FDFAX), which holds companies like Coca Cola, General Mills, and Kroger, is distinctly different from a mutual fund like the Fidelity Select Air Transportation Portfolio (FSAIX), which holds companies like Boeing, Delta Airlines, and UPS.

First, explain why you believe the industries your selected stocks, bonds, or mutual funds represent are good industries in which to invest. Next, share why you would invest in the stocks, bonds, or mutual funds you selected and what would make you sell each of those investments (just like Brian Stoffel says he did).

Do you believe your selected stocks, bonds, or mutual funds will perform well in 2015? Why or why not? Finally, explain why you agree or disagree with Brian Stoffel’s advice not sell in 2015.

Be sure to support your decision with facts and cite your sources.


Guidelines and Directions

Six easy steps to walk you through InvestWrite:

FIRST, what you need to know about InvestWrite entries:

  • You may submit no more than 10 entries from any classroom and only one entry per student. If you have more than one class participating in The Stock Market Game program you may submit up to 10 entries per class.
  • All submitted entries must address the contest assignment as stated on this website.
  • Each entry must be an original work, representing the student's own research, thinking, and writing.
SECOND, share these InvestWrite GUIDELINES with your students:

Each student may submit only one entry with a maximum word count of:

  • 700 words for 4-5 grade
  • 850 words for 6-8 grade
  • 1000 words for 9-12 grade
  •   Minimum of 400 words

The title chosen by each student (excluding the author's name) must appear at the top of the first page of the text. If references are cited, include them following the last page of the text. (Please note: only the body of the essay will be included in the word count, the title and the works cited will not count against the specified word limit.)

  • The format for references or works cited can be chosen by the teacher.
  • Identification of the student or teacher in the essay will result in disqualification.
  • Since the judges will base their decision on the author's understanding of the subject matter, rationale, and writing style, please do the same when you judge. View judging criteria.
  • All essays must be submitted in plain text; no charts, graphs or symbols will be accepted.
THIRD, discuss the background with your class and assign the due date. Make sure you give yourself enough time to read and select entries before the InvestWrite online submission deadline April 23, 2015.

FOURTH, read the InvestWrite entries and choose no more than ten entries per class to submit on behalf of your students. Each entry must be entered onto the InvestWrite website to be eligible. Simply cut and paste the entry from any word processing application.

FIFTH, in addition to student entries, please be prepared for online submissions by making additional copies of this page and compiling the following information for online submission:
  • Teacher's name
  • Teacher's Stock Market Game login ID and password
  • Teacher's personal telephone number and email address
  • School name, physical address and phone number
  • Student's first name and last initial
  • Student's Stock Market Game team login ID
  • Additional information may be required at the time of submittal

This information will help us contact InvestWrite award winners!

SIXTH, return to www.InvestWrite.org to submit your top ten, teacher-judged entries for each class beginning January 28, 2015. The deadline to submit InvestWrite entries is April 23, 2015.

If you plan to participate, please help us by completing our "quick-and-easy" pre-registration form. Pre-Register now!

Eligibility and Judging Criteria:
  • Teachers and students must be currently enrolled in the Spring 2015 Stock Market Game program. Teachers with classes must have a valid login ID and password. Student entries will require a valid team ID.
  • Judges will base their decisions on the author's understanding of the subject matter, rationale, and writing style.
  • The national judges' panel consists of selected Stock Market Game program staff that represents the SIFMA Foundation.
  • InvestWrite entries that do not meet the criteria in the Guidelines will not be considered.
  • InvestWrite entries will not be returned to the author.
  • SIFMA Foundation reserves the right to edit, publish, disseminate, and otherwise use all entries at their discretion.

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