Carly Krothe’s winning essay aims to help A Glimmer of Hope Foundation fulfill its mission through sound financial management, placing her first in the nation for elementary school students

March 16, 2018


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 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.