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.
“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.
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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