LEWISBURG — Fake money is so yesterday. How about some real cash to play with — $5,000 in fact, courtesy of an anonymous Michigan donor to Lewisburg Area High School students taking part in this season’s EconomicsPennsylvania’s Stock Market Game.
The donor, called a “friend of the organization,” follows the twice yearly, 10-week, statewide student competition, said Fritz Heinemann, EconomicsPennsylvania president and chief executive officer.
The gift was announced last week and will let students “experience investing actual funds while participating in the real-world dynamics of the global marketplace,” Heinemann said.
“We are very excited” to play with real money, said Michael Creeger, the high school’s economics teacher who moderates the Lewisburg stock game teams. “I don’t think anyone has been presented an opportunity like this in a public school,” he said, let alone at Lewisburg in the 10 years he’s coached.
The Stock Market Game lets student teams invest a hypothetical $100,000 in bonds, mutual funds and stocks chosen from the American, New York and NASDAQ markets. They manage their portfolios by making trades and entering them at the game’s website.
These investments with real money will be totally separate, though students will trade by the same principles, Creeger said. “They’ll be trading by same principles, but 100 percent in real world,” he said.
Right now, the plan is to take some of the profits and donate them back to the school district and to EconomicsPennsylvania. The account will be kept for future teams to work as well.
With real money comes real-world rules, however. For the students to have an account setup, a professional was needed to moderate it. Richard Wible, president and founder of R-E-W Financial in Lewisburg, has volunteered his firm and services to work with the students.
The account was set up last week, Creeger said, and he logged in to check things bout. The students won’t enter trades directly themselves, but they are already researching and getting ready to go, he said, adding they can’t wait.
“The game itself is an awesome learning experience,” Creeger said, “and people always comment, ‘I should let you invest some of my money.’ This speaks to the confidence and accomplishment the students have achieved.”
The Stock Market Game is on hiatus right now, but the national game will start next week followed by the spring game in two weeks.
In the fall, team members senior Nate Martin and junior Alex Liscum, both of Lewisburg, finished second in the state.