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Updated: Apr 1, 2020

18-year-old Braden Van Dyke uses capital markets savvy to write award-winning essay, placing first in the nation for the SIFMA Foundation’s Fall 2016 InvestWrite® competition.

Byron Center, MI, March 21, 2017 – While most students focused on homework and extracurricular activities after school, 18-year old Braden Van Dyke, a senior at Byron Center High School, was busy analyzing the global financial markets. His hard work resulted in a long-term return, making him a national winner of the SIFMA Foundation’s InvestWrite® competition. Van Dyke has been named the first-place high school winner for Fall 2016. #HighSchoolDivision The program challenges thousands of students across the country to consider an investing scenario and make recommendations that incorporate short- and long-term investment goals.

“Braden Van Dyke’s rigorous analysis and remarkable essay earned him the SIFMA Foundation’s ‘InvestWrite Genius’ title this semester,” said Melanie Mortimer, President of the SIFMA Foundation.

“We commend Braden and his teacher, Brian De Haan, for this achievement. Helping students better understand our economy, our markets, the role of investors, and how to make good investments will pay dividends for the students, their education, and the economy.”

InvestWrite serves as a culminating activity for 600,000 4th-12th graders nationwide who compete each year in the SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game™, an online simulation of the global capital markets that reinforces STEM learning, 21st Century skills, economics, investing and personal finance. Since InvestWrite’s inception in 2004, over 200,000 students have submitted essays. Van Dyke is among 20,000 students this school year participating in the InvestWrite challenge, which bridges classroom learning in mathematics, social studies, and language arts with the practical research and knowledge required for long-term personal financial planning.

The essay prompt challenged Van Dyke to describe the strategy he used to select his Stock Market Game classroom portfolio and also to analyze and suggest stocks based on the “blended” approach favored by investment guru Peter Lynch. The recommendation needed to include a stock, bond or mutual fund that would make a good long-term investment. The essay required Van Dyke to describe the technical or fundamental analysis he used to make his recommendation. Van Dyke focused on Facebook, including in his essay, “In the end, a blended approach is imperative to smart, successful stock market investments. By taking what you already know and adding metrics of both quantitative and qualitative metrics, you can choose the right long-term investment. However, you must have a stomach for the long run and have the end in mind. Having a diversified portfolio helps ensure that your eggs aren’t all in one basket and reliant on only one stock.”

InvestWrite enables students like Braden Van Dyke to develop the personal financial savvy needed to make practical financial decisions with confidence and gain a deeper understanding of economic opportunities, consequences, and benefits. Students consider real-world events and news, conduct research online, and develop investment recommendations. They work in groups during The Stock Market Game™ program and then write their InvestWrite essays individually to reflect their critical thinking, analysis and creative talents.

Braden Van Dyke is president of his senior class and co-president of the National Honor Society Chapter at Byron Center High School. He has been recognized with Bryon Center High School’s Top Dog Award and has been active all four years in the Student Life and Leadership program at the school. His teacher, Brian De Haan, uses the Stock Market Game in his class where he has taught economics for the past 18 years. De Haan said, “Teaching students the basics of finance and the stock market is essential to the students’ broad education and future success as informed investors in life. Utilizing the Stock Market Game and InvestWrite allows my students the experiences to enhance their understanding of the financial services industry.”

Winning InvestWrite essays are chosen through rigorous judging by thousands of teachers and industry professionals who evaluate students’ understanding of long-term investing, diversification, the capital markets, and factors that drive investments as well as their expression of investment ideas in essay form.

Winning Essay by Braden Van Dyke:

Remember that one toy that you had to have as a child? Whether it was a Rubik’s cube or toy doll, it always looked so perfect, wrapped and untouched in the box on the toy shelf of your local supermarket store. If only you could convince mom or dad that if you had this toy, you’d “keep this one forever.” On a lucky day, you got the toy, but you always broke your promise – and as a much older, more mature teenager you begin to realize the amount of wasted time and money that was put into that one desire and decision. You’re an adult now and you find yourself, yet again faced with a decision – or rather, decisions. Here you are, once again in the market – the stock market. However, here, the stakes are much higher. What do you buy? What’s good? What’s not? After careful research and consideration, you know what to do. With your ear to what’s popular, your eye on the perfect metrics, and your mind sharpened with patience and confidence for the long run, investing in stocks will be seamless and advantageous, reaping rewards of financial gain and knowledge.

In the beginning of my stock market search, I first looked to what I thought would be the right stocks to buy – Netflix, Starbucks, Twitter, Apple Inc, etc. Seldom will you find a person alive who has not heard of any of those modern giants. I, simply, started off with what I knew. What I thought was successful. I took what I thought was a blended approach. I knew these companies were popular and I did a quick search into some of the companies’ numbers. I merely typed in “Twitter stock,” and voilà, there was this beautiful graph powered by Google Finance with prices and numbers. My eye quickly went to the price. Twenty-three dollars. That was good. It was low and I knew enough that you wanted something that was lower so the price, and your profit, would increase. What’s more? The price was green with a positive percentage. I pushed the “news” tab and saw rumors of someone buying Twitter – I thought that rumors of someone buying Twitter propelled the stock up and thought all the better of it. Nearly a thousand shares later; I was a “co-owner” of Twitter. Although I had the right idea of an approach that blended what’s popular with statistical metrics, I was looking at the wrong indicators. Buyout news is bad for the company being bought out. Current price and instantaneous stock direction is useless if not compared to other metrics and, most importantly, against the trend. Soon later, the stock plummeted 30% killing my portfolio.

One such stock that exemplifies a solid long-term investment as described by Peter Lynch’s blended approach, is Facebook.

First is what you know. Facebook has been a social media giant since the beginning of the modern technological revolution. Nearly everyone with Internet access has Facebook. With two billion people with Internet access in developed countries, per International Telecommunication Union, Facebook users make up 1.1 billion holding the top spot in social media according to eBusiness.

Next, research must be conducted to further back the stock. Facebook has multiple quantitative metrics to reinforce it as a solid long-term investment. Not only is it important to be aware of the current price and direction, but also the overall price change and direction throughout time. This can be accomplished through Yahoo Finance using a simple moving average over 50 days and 200 days. In the past six months, year, and two-year span Facebook has seen both growth in the price and an upward overall direction with its 50-day moving average always being above its 200-day moving average.

Moreover, a beta metric can be used to judge the risk/reward level of a stock. Beta, per Investopedia, measures the volatility of the stock compared to the market. Facebook, per Yahoo Finance, has a beta of 0.46, which means that when the stock market rises, Facebook moves only 46 percent with the market, but, likewise, only moves 46 percent lower when the stock market falls. This makes Facebook a safer, less risky stock and a good long-term investment.

Finally, a quarterly and annual measure of the company is an important quantitative metric to consider. Facebook’s quarterly revenue has been rising, along with its profit, by over $1 million in the past year and $10 million in the past two years. Facebook’s assets have been rising that much more – nearly doubling in the past two years. Per Morningstar, Facebook’s three-year revenue growth and three-year net income growth are leaps and bounds above average.

Finally, qualitative research is necessary to strengthen Facebook as a strong stock choice. Understanding that all news is not good news, top news sources, such as Seeing Alpha and Motley Fool, are good places to find the right kind of information regarding companies and stocks. These sources have continually reported on Facebook news and updates, such as Facebook’s addition of Facebook Live and added reactions.

In the end, a blended approach is imperative to smart, successful stock market investments. By taking what you already know and adding metrics of both quantitative and qualitative metrics, you can choose the right long-term investment. However, you must have a stomach for the long run and have the end in mind. Having a diversified portfolio helps ensure that your eggs aren’t all in one basket and reliant on only one stock. Moreover, having a clear exit strategy is important so that you don’t pick and choose stocks emotionally. Remember, this is an investment, not a short-term whim. A blended approach offers a sound method of selecting stocks by blending what you know with the right quantitative and qualitative metrics with patience and confidence for the long run, making for investments that are seamless to select and advantageous, financially and knowledgeably.

 

About the SIFMA Foundation for Investor Education

The SIFMA Foundation is dedicated to fostering knowledge and understanding of the financial markets for individuals of all backgrounds, with a focus on youth. Drawing on the support and expertise of the financial industry, the SIFMA Foundation provides financial education programs and tools that strengthen economic opportunities across communities and increase individuals’ access to the benefits of the global marketplace. Notable Foundation programs include the Stock Market Game, which has served 16 million students since it began in 1977, the InvestWrite national essay competition, www.investwrite.org, the Capitol Hill Challenge, and Invest It Forward. For more information on the work of the SIFMA Foundation, visit www.sifma.org/foundation.

About SIFMA

SIFMA is the voice of the U.S. securities industry. We represent the broker-dealers, banks and asset managers whose nearly 1 million employees provide access to the capital markets, raising over $2.5 trillion for businesses and municipalities in the U.S., serving clients with over $18.5 trillion in assets and managing more than $67 trillion in assets for individual and institutional clients including mutual funds and retirement plans. SIFMA, with offices in New York and Washington, D.C., is the U.S. regional member of the Global Financial Markets Association (GFMA). For more information, visit www.sifma.org.

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Pleasant Hill, MO - March 7, 2016 by Melissa Stern

A local seventh grader got a big surprise Monday at a school assembly after winning first place in a national writing competition for her investing app.

The app is to help with long-term investing.

“I feel kind of special,” said Pleasant Hill middle school student Abby Teitelbaum, who invented the app for the contest held by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIMFA).

Her classmates erupted in applause and cheers for 13-year-old Abby when they found out she took the top prize in the national SIFMA Foundation InvestWrite competition in a surprise assembly.

“Didn't think I’d win,” a shocked Teitelbaum said........

To continue reading entire story > Click Here.

SOURCE: IN THE NEWS from Fox4kc.com. WDAF-TV Kansas City

Website: http://fox4kc.com/2016/03/07/local-student-wins-national-contest-for-stock-market-app/#

#MiddleSchoolDivision

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Updated: Apr 1, 2020

Smarter than a fifth grader? Think again! Farmer’s Winning Investment Advice Astonishes.


Chapin, SC, February 29, 2016– Paying close attention on the way to school is exactly why a 10-year-old from South Carolina just became a national winner of the SIFMA Foundation’s Fall 2015 InvestWrite competition. Farmer, a fifth-grader at Chapin Intermediate School, won 1st place nationally in the elementary school division of InvestWrite. The program challenges students to consider an investing scenario and make recommendations that incorporate short- and long-term financial goals.

“MoMo’s innovative ideas and remarkable essay earned her the SIFMA Foundation’s ‘InvestWrite Genius’ title this year,” said Melanie Mortimer, President of the SIFMA Foundation.

Teacher, Yvonne Strange

“We commend her on this achievement and praise her teacher, Yvonne Strange, for bringing personal finance into her classroom with The Stock Market Game and InvestWrite. Studies have shown these programs raise students’ scores significantly on math, economics and personal finance tests and prepare them for life’s financial decisions.”

InvestWrite serves as a culminating activity for 600,000 4th-12th graders nationwide who compete each year in the SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game™, an online simulation of the global capital markets that reinforces STEM learning, 21st Century skills, economics, investing and personal finance. Since InvestWrite’s inception in 2004, more than 185,000 students have submitted essays. MoMo Farmer is among 20,000 students this school year taking the InvestWrite challenge, which bridges classroom learning in mathematics, social studies, and language arts with the practical research and knowledge required for long-term personal financial planning.

Farmer’s essay explored how things she sees on her way to school have been impacted by investments. She also had to propose a good long-term investment that would benefit her community or the world. Farmer wrote about Amazon in her essay and said, “We noticed in February 2015 that the total price was around $350. When we bought the stock in October, the price was around $540. We thought that we would purchase Amazon because of its past increases and analysts’ expectations. In addition, Amazon’s donating to charity made us feel good about the company’s mission and reputation, helping people in need as well running a successful company.” Farmer applauded Amazon for their Amazon Smiles program which gives a portion of their sales back to communities.

InvestWrite enables students like Farmer to develop the personal financial savvy needed to make practical financial decisions with confidence and gain a deeper understanding of economic opportunities, consequences, and benefits. Students consider real-world events and news, conduct research online, and develop investment recommendations. They work in groups during the Stock Market Game program and then write their InvestWrite essays individually to reflect their critical thinking, analysis and creative talents.

Farmer loves school, the water and is an accomplished dancer. Her teacher, Yvonne Strange, a 25-year veteran teacher, said “By participating in InvestWrite my students are able to apply concepts for a meaningful experience. Parents are thrilled to see their children so enthusiastic about learning and participating in real life applications of math and problem solving. InvestWrite and the Stock Market Game provide opportunities for my students to apply and use workplace skills that future employers will require.”

Winning InvestWrite essays are chosen through rigorous judging by thousands of teachers and industry professionals who evaluate students’ understanding of long-term investing, diversification, the capital markets, and factors that drive investments as well as their expression of investment ideas in essay form.

An independent study by Learning Point Associates found that students who participated in the SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game scored significantly higher on mathematics and financial literacy tests than their peers who did not participate. They also found that teachers who taught The Stock Market Game reported that the program motivated them to better plan for their own financial futures. The Stock Market Game has been named the only program that successfully increased scores on the Jumpstart Coalition’s test of high school students’ financial literacy.

The Stock Market Game and InvestWrite are offered in South Carolina through SC Economics. “We honor and congratulate our InvestWrite winning teacher and student,” said Jim Morris, President 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.”

Also recognized for her success is Lexi Becker, who ranked 10th in the nation in the Fall 2016 competition, also in the elementary division. Her teacher is Heather Sansbury. Lexi's essay appears below.


Winning Essay by MoMo Farmer: Our Journey with Amazon

Imagine …you are on the school bus on your way to school and what do you see? Businesses, grocery stores, and schools are places that are invested in. Where I live in Chapin, on my way to school, I see Publix, Walmart and banks, like TD Bank. All of these places are largely possible because of stock investments.

What do you think about when you hear “Amazon”? I think about ordering and shopping on computers. Amazon is invested in too. Amazon is a great stock because it has made big returns for investors, and they donate to charity. This gives this stock a very good reputation, along with being a good investment.

When investing in a stock, there are many things you need to look for. You need to look at the stock’s history, to see if it’s climbing or falling. Also look at the predictions to see if the experts think this stock will rise or drop in the future. As our group started to look around Nasdaq to buy our very first stock, we all started searching name brands we knew. We searched a lot of things like Nike, Under Armor, Publix and more. We finally found a perfect stock that we predicted would really gain.

We purchased Amazon at the price of $521.62 on October 1, 2015. Now on November 23, 2015, you can buy Amazon for about $663. This rise in price happened in about one month. We all agreed on purchasing this stock because of the history. We noticed in February 2015 that the total price was around $350. When we bought the stock in October, the price was around $540. We thought that we would purchase Amazon because of its past increases and analysts’ expectations. In addition, Amazon’s donating to charity made us feel good about the company’s mission and reputation, helping people in need as well running a successful company.

Purchasing a stock can be hard for anyone; however, I would definitely recommend Amazon as a stock to purchase. Today, analysts project Amazon’s 2016 profit to rise by 447.60% and for the stock price to hit $723. I think this may be a little high, but still think this will be a very good stock to invest in. When we were deciding to purchase Amazon, we wanted to look at the recommendations. Twenty-one out of twenty-eight said strong buy. Two out of twenty-eight said buy and five out of twenty-eight said hold. We noticed that many people had said strong buy so this convinced us to purchase the stock. Then, we looked at the P/E Ratio predictions for 2015 (363) and 2016 (135) and decided this stock could really rise. In general, a high P/E suggests that investors are expecting higher earnings growth in the future compared to companies with a lower P/E.

If a company is successful, there are many ways it can benefit its community. Amazon benefits our community in three different ways: charity, reputation and employment. When you become a member of Amazon, every time you purchase an item, .5% of the money goes to charities like American Red Cross, ASPCA and World Wide Fund. Giving money to charities also gives Amazon a good reputation. Consumers want to make purchases from companies that give back to others. Employment benefits local communities, including the Midlands of South Carolina, where Amazon employs over 1,500 people at its Lexington distribution center. Worldwide, Amazon employs over 154,000 people. These are important jobs that help build good communities.

In conclusion, Amazon is an excellent stock to invest in. It is a very successful company and a big contributor for our community. Amazon's earnings growth is high, and has helped our group’s numbers rise. Amazon stock has increased from around $522.00 to $664.00 in just one month. They benefit our community by giving back and donating to charities, and these acts gives them a good reputation. They also provide jobs for our community. By playing the stock market game, I have learned that investing in companies that you are familiar with and understand can be both profitable and fun at the same time.

Winning Essay by Lexi Becker:

Ready... aim...fire! If you want to hit the bullseye as an investor in a company that benefits communities, then invest in Target Corporation. Not only is Target’s stock profitable, it also donates millions of dollars to support charities. Also its employees donate thousands of service hours in their communities.

Communities across America are lucky to have a Target store because Target sells everything from groceries to the latest style of clothing to toys and even pet supplies. Because Target is such a prodigious company with so many product lines, it hires hundreds of employees in each community where a store is located. In addition to the benefits of creating jobs, the employees are encouraged to volunteer at local charities. In fact, in 2014 Target employees volunteered over 250,000 service hours in their communities.

Target’s success enables it to donate to many charities. Every year Target donates millions of pounds of food to the hungry. Since 1997, Target has donated $418 million to schools k-12 through it’s Take Charge Of Education program. Another example of their generosity is their involvement with United Way since 1962. In 2014 Target and its employees donated more than $14.6 million to support United Way programs.

When I was researching my investment options, Target was one of my top choices. On nasdaq.com I looked at Target’s interactive chart to see how the stock had performed in the past. I found that Target had a history of being profitable and had a good reputation. With a reasonable price of $72.04, I determined that Target would be a great addition to my portfolio.

I believe Target stock would be a good investment for other investors in the future. Target appears to be consistently profitable and a non-risky investment. And if people realize how much Target and its employees contribute every year to their local communities, then they might be willing to invest even more in Target.

So are you ready to take aim and fire? Investing in Target is a win-win for the investor and the community. As an investor you will receive money and your community will benefit from Target’s donations.

 

About the SIFMA Foundation for Investor Education

The SIFMA Foundation is dedicated to fostering knowledge and understanding of the financial markets for individuals of all backgrounds, with a focus on youth. Drawing on the support and expertise of the financial industry, the SIFMA Foundation provides financial education programs and tools that strengthen economic opportunities across communities and increase individuals’ access to the benefits of the global marketplace. Notable Foundation programs include the Stock Market Game, which has served nearly 16 million students since it began in 1977, the InvestWrite national essay competition, www.investwrite.org, the Capitol Hill Challenge, and Invest It Forward. For more information on the work of the SIFMA Foundation, visit www.sifma.org/foundation.

About SIFMA

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) is the voice of the U.S. securities industry, representing the broker-dealers, banks and asset managers whose 889,000 employees provide access to the capital markets, raising over $2.4 trillion for businesses and municipalities in the U.S., serving retail clients with over $16 trillion in assets and managing more than $62 trillion in assets for individual and institutional clients including mutual funds and retirement plans. SIFMA, with offices in New York and Washington, D.C., is the U.S. regional member of the Global Financial Markets Association (GFMA). For more information, visit www.sifma.org.

About 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 divisions 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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#ElementarySchoolDivision

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