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Carly Krothe’s winning essay aims to help A Glimmer of Hope Foundation fulfill its mission.

10-Year-Old Financial Expert Gives Winning Portfolio Advice to Nonprofit, Sweeps SIFMA Foundation’s InvestWrite® Essay Competition



New York, New York, February 26, 2018 – Many youngsters enjoy raising funds for nonprofit organizations, but 10-year old Carly Krothe wants to manage those funds! This exceptional fifth grader #ElementarySchoolDivision from Serene Hills Elementary in Lakeway, Texas channeled her inner financial advisor to create an investment plan for A Glimmer of Hope Foundation and become the national 1st place winner of SIFMA Foundation’s Fall 2017 InvestWrite® competition.


Krothe’s remarkable essay on how to help a nonprofit organization manage its assets for maximum short- and long-term sustainability has positioned her at the top of thousands of students competing nationwide. Should she ever wish to manage her own nonprofit organization, Krothe has the financials figured out!


InvestWrite is a national essay competition that serves as a culminating activity for students taking part in the SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game™. Now in its 15th year, InvestWrite is generously underwritten by Wells Fargo for the SIFMA Foundation. “Wells Fargo’s commitment to the SIFMA Foundation’s InvestWrite program seeks to build a pipeline for financial capability that starts in elementary school, continues through middle and high school and prepares our next generation for college and careers relying on critical financial decisions,” said Jon Weiss, Head of Wells Fargo Wealth and Investment Management. “We believe Wells Fargo can achieve this goal by partnering with the nation’s leader in youth investor education, the SIFMA Foundation, given its reach of 17 million students to date.”

According to Vanessa Cooksey, Senior Vice President and Head of Community Affairs for Wells Fargo Advisors, the grant from Wells Fargo promises to enhance students’ academic ability across important academic and life skills. “The National Assessment of Educational Progress reports that millions of adolescents are struggling with low literacy skills and less than half of eighth grade students are performing proficiently in reading, math and personal finance is a call to action for our country,” Cooksey stated. “By combining The Stock Market Game’s impacts on student math and personal financial achievement with InvestWrite’s impact on essential reading and writing skills, Wells Fargo’s commitment addresses the three Rs of education – reading, writing, arithmetic – and financial capability.”



Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, the SIFMA Foundation’s acclaimed national financial capability programs engage 600,000 students and 15,000 educators annually with proven impacts in raising students’ math, economics and personal finance test scores and, through InvestWrite, their language arts and writing skills. The 4th-12th graders nationwide who compete each year are reinforcing what they have learned in The Stock Market Game™ an online simulation of the global capital markets that reinforces STEM learning, 21st Century skills, economics, investing and personal finance. Through InvestWrite, students are, in fact, building on what they have learned through their participation in The Stock Market Game, which has reached more than 17 million students since its inception in 1977.


InvestWrite enables students 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.

"SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game and InvestWrite are transformative programs that prepare students for college, career and life while teaching them about the capital markets and investing,” said Melanie Mortimer, President of the SIFMA Foundation. “Our students do measurably better on math, economics and personal finance tests. They also learn to work in teams, manage change, understand the impact of global economic activity, and become smart consumers ready for financial independence.”

Since InvestWrite was introduced in 2004, more than 215,000 students have submitted essays. Carly Krothe is among the 20,000 participants each year in InvestWrite, which bridges classroom learning in mathematics, social studies, and language arts with the practical research and knowledge required for long-term personal financial planning.

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 global capital markets, and factors that drive investments as well as their expression of investment ideas in essay form. Winners receive exciting awards and prizes including laptops, classroom pizza parties, trophies, plaques and banners, and certificates. The first-place national winners in middle school and high school are awarded a three-day all-expense paid trip to New York City, the financial capital of the world, with their teacher and a parent.

The Fall 2017 InvestWrite competition required students to select a nonprofit organization they support and outline a financial plan to sustain the financial future of the organization. Ten-year-old Carly said, “A Glimmer of Hope Foundation’s goal is to reduce poverty in Ethiopia by focusing on providing fresh water, education and health care.” Krothe had recently attended a presentation by one of the organization’s founders. She believes a successful investment strategy for the organization’s assets will come from “investing wisely, protecting it from risk while helping it to grow.” She adds, “I would advise investing in a mix of stocks, bonds and mutual funds. A mixed portfolio provides potential growth but safety from being too vulnerable to one market.”

An independent, double-blind, nationally randomized evaluation conducted by Learning Point Associates (now AIR) found that The Stock Market Game improves students’ academic achievement and personal financial behavior. 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.

Carly Krothe and her teacher, Stephanie Cardarella were honored at a surprise event held on Monday, February 26, 2018 at Serene Hills Elementary, 3301 Serene Hills Drive, Lakeway, TX. Representatives of the SIFMA Foundation, Wells Fargo, the school district and special guests were in attendance.



Winning Essay by Carly Krothe:

A Glimmer of Hope

A Glimmer of Hope Foundation’s goal is to reduce poverty in Ethiopia by focusing on providing fresh water, education, and health care. I am a student in the Junior Development program at a local tennis academy and it supports this foundation. I recently attended a presentation by one of its founders. She spoke about Ethiopian women and girls’ “Walk for Water.” Every day the little girls have to walk for hours to get water for their families and village. They fetch the dirty water with a 40-pound jug that is filled, rather than going to school. If A Glimmer of Hope can provide the people in Ethiopia with access to fresh water then the girls can attend school, their health improves, and the village can make a living through farming because they can water their crops and livestock.

According to A Glimmer of Hope Aid for Africa, since the organization’s founding in 2000, it has constructed more than 6,700 water projects, 520 school buildings, and 210 health facilities. Through A Glimmer of Hope’s work, the nonprofit organization has improved 2.5 million lives. As A Glimmer of Hope Foundation’s money manager, I need to invest their money wisely, protecting it from risk while helping it to grow. I would advise investing in a mix of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. A mixed portfolio provides potential for growth but safety from being too vulnerable to one market.

One stock I would consider buying is 8point3 Energy Partners. It is a good stock to have because it is a yieldco, which is a publicly traded company that owns and operates clean energy structures, and most of the cash they make is returned to the shareholders in the form of a dividend. According to Travis Hoium, an analyst for the Motley Fool, the yearly dividend is $1.06 right now and expected to grow 3% in the next two quarters at the very least. It is a good stock to buy right now because they have “literally trillions of dollars in potential” and the prices are very low. The stock is also attractive because some believe fossil fuels will become scarce, and solar energy causes less pollution. Last, relating to A Glimmer of Hope, solar energy can be used to power water pumps in remote places like Ethiopia, so investing in this yieldco could be a future investment in pumping clean water.

I would also invest some of the foundation’s money in mutual funds. They are a wise choice because they can be a stock fund or a bond fund or even a mixture of both. They aren’t as risky as an individual stock because you own shares of many different companies instead of just one. That way, if one company goes out of business or does poorly, you will not lose all of your money because the other companies might do well. One fund I would definitely invest in is an S&P 500 fund. These funds track the performance of 500 of the biggest companies in the United States. Over longer periods of time, these companies usually grow and make more money. So, the index goes up and the money you invested has a greater value.

The last thing I might invest in are bonds. Bonds are an investment where a company, city, or government borrows money from an investor with the promise to pay you back your money plus interest. Bonds are considered a safe investment because you are guaranteed a certain amount of money each year, unlike a stock that can go up and down. The right investments are important to A Glimmer of Hope because they reduce poverty in Ethiopia. Without money, they couldn’t improve as many people’s lives in Ethiopia. With these stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, A Glimmer of Hope will be able to touch so many Ethiopian lives. As Susan Gale, from A Glimmer of Hope said, “Sometimes even the smallest glimmer of hope can grow into a blinding light that shines over the entire world.”

About Wells Fargo Wells Fargo & Company

(NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,600 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com/Homeownership) and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 269,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 27 on Fortune’s 2016 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories. Visit https://stories.wf.com/ Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a separate registered broker dealer and non bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. Wells Fargo Wealth and Investment Management (WIM) is a division within Wells Fargo & Company. WIM provides financial products and services through various bank and brokerage affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company.

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 17 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/about/sifma-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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