Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012
Students from Coaldale's Kate Andrews High School made and lost millions of dollars Friday in a frenzy of stock trading.
The students spent virtual money in a simulated competition in the University of Lethbridge's trading room as part of a unit on financial literacy.
Justin Grubel was one of about 45 Grade 11 students to try his hand at trading in the simulated environment. He said he's interested in a career in business or finance and welcomed the chance to buy and sell stocks.
"I think it's a great idea and a great opportunity to get experience in the field," he said.
Grubel said he quickly caught on to using the software and decided he'd try a strategy of buying low and selling high.
"Unlike most people, I waited until it dropped even lower than what the starting price was and then I just had faith that it would go back up," he said. "But I bought lower than most people did so I think that's why I had the advantage."
Lucy Johnson, Kate Andrews' finance teacher, has been teaching her students about budgeting, saving, banking, compound interest, simple interest, insurance, credit and credit card debt.
"Now we're wrapping it up with investments. I taught them the different type of investments that are out there, the risks that are associated with it, to do your background work, maybe get some education on the investment if you are going to invest money and the expected return," Johnson said.
Original plans were to have someone from the U of L Faculty of Management come to the school and speak to the class but then the option of visiting the trading room was presented. While stock trading was beyond the scope of the financial literacy unit Johnson was teaching, she told her students about the possibility anyway.
"They said yes; they just thought this was a great opportunity," Johnson said. "I think it's a very valuable and fun activity for them to learn about the process of how shares are traded and bought on a daily basis."
The visit was scheduled to coincide with November being financial literacy month. Johnson said the visit gives students the chance to see just how fast $1 million can be lost.
While the Kate Andrews students were the first group to use the trading room, the Faculty of Management often hosts high school students.
"This is something we've done fairly regularly. We want to bring students on campus to see that it's not a scary place, that there's a lot of fun things that go on here, that there's a lot of really incredible learning that goes on here," said Steve Craig, director of co-op education and external relations for the Faculty of Management.
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