Neu-Life Teens Learn Real-World Financial Skills with Virtual Investing Game.
By Britta Jerdee
Say the words 'Stock Market' to many adults and you may as well be speaking another language. The prospect of risk and money in the same sentence can be a scary proposition.
But research shows that teens who have been taught to invest open themselves up to a "wealth" of opportunities.
From June 15 to August 21, 2020, five Neu-life teens participated in a first-of-its-kind pilot program alongside six other Milwaukee organizations. The program, called Stock Market Game, gave teens the education and opportunity to invest a fictitious $100,000 on the EconomicsWisconsin Stock Market Game platform. Winning team members received a very real $200 each for 1st place; $100 each for 2nd place and $50 each for 3rd at the end of the game .
Teens participated in weekly team meetings, educational workgroups and digital orientations with various "office hours" presenters from across the country. After the team felt comfortable in their knowledge and ability to successfully manage their investment portfolio, they decided how to invest their $100,000 through simulated, real-time stock transactions.
Teens who learn the Stock Market Game have a unique opportunity to learn how to invest in themselves, grow generational wealth and economic prosperity. It teaches them to discover their personal risk tolerance, learn investment strategies and develop a sense of their own investment aspirations. All the while, they are developing useful life skills - team work, gaining responsibility in their roles, and collaborating with an ever expanding network. The positive outcomes of financial education can be absolutely transformative, expanding beyond the student and into their communities.
Why Should Teens Learn About the Stock Market?
Empowering young people with the knowledge and skills needed for investing along with exposure to career opportunities in the financial industry can set them on a path to financial health and wealth. The SIFMA Stock Market Game has a long history of providing students with a platform to research, find and select investments for their portfolio in a classroom setting. Research demonstrates that the game improves financial literacy.
“The Stock Market Game has a long and successful history as an educational tool within the classroom framework,”says Bob Glowacki of Economics Wisconsin. “The significant innovation we are trying here is to see if the game can also be implemented effectively through community based organizations. If so, this will open up an entirely new and accessible way to bring early education in investing to more urban youth.”
Confronting Economic Inequities
The TIAA Institute released a study measuring financial literacy among racial groups. Key findings show that personal finance knowledge among African American adults lags that of Whites and that there is a strong link between financial literacy and financial wellness. Those who are more financially literate are more likely to plan and save for retirement, to have non-retirement savings and to better manage debt.
Watch the Stock Market Game Capstone Presentations and Awards Ceremony - Live on Facebook
Journey House, Milwaukee School of Excellence, Neighborhood House, Peak Initiative, Running Rebels, MKE Fellows
Asset Builders, United Way consultant, Jim Bower, Collective Impact
Stock Market Game Pilot planning committee:
Bob Glowacki, Julie Glaunert and Mark Schug
Collective Impact and Stock Market Game Community Liaisons:
Darryl Davidson – Director of Community Engagement
TeAngelo Cargile Jr. – Office of Violence Prevention
Shannon Reed and Whitney Bingham, Jeremy Simon
“Office Hours” Presenters:
Eric Utrie, Mark Schug, Na’il Diggs, Better Investing, Gregory Webb, Joe Knight, Ionnie McNeill, Dr. Terrance Green, Angela Stenklyft, Paige Radke
A special thank you to United Way and the City of Milwaukee
Game platform made possible by the SIMFA Foundation
To learn more about the wide range of school and community-based programs and resources on personal finance, wealth-building and economics, visit our partners’ websites:
Asset Builders: www.assetbuilders.org
United Way: www.unitedwaygmwc.org
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