The stock game project utilizes PersonalFinanceLab’s stock game to teach students about investing. The key to a successful class stock game is making the game last as long as possible so students have exposure to the real markets and see how real-world news impacts their portfolio. Therefore, our course outline places the investing unit early in the class – just after budgeting.
For a 9-week class, we make the following recommendations for your class rules:
- Use $10,000 starting cash. What this means is that students will start with $10,000 of cash to invest (which is large enough to buy almost any stock, but small enough to be a tangible number for most students).
- Also include $1,000 weekly deposits. This means the system will also deposit an additional $1,000 in each student’s account every Monday morning, which students need to continually invest (just like making regular contributions to their retirement account).
We also recommend using the “Teams” function of PersonalFinanceLab. This will allow you to group your students into groups of two or more for the portfolio simulation. While each student has their own initial cash and portfolio, we also group the portfolios of “Teams” together for additional team rankings. This gives both you and your students a clear view of both their individual performance and their team to encourage collaboration, but not freeloading. The team rankings are based on the total % return of the team, and so it is not a problem if you have groups with uneven numbers of students.
At the end of the class, the final project involves a report and presentation of takeaways from both the stock game and budget game. We recommend this as a group project, based on Teams set up at the beginning of the class.
Similarly, to the Budget Game, the Stock Game project involves multiple smaller assessments: formative “Investing Strategy Report” and “Check-In” reports, and a summative final report and presentation, combined with the budget game. All three reports are best addressed as group projects, based on Teams in PersonalFinanceLab.
Unit 2.1 Starting the Stock Game – First Trades
Students will start the stock game at the beginning of the investing unit by exploring, watching tutorial videos, and placing their first trades by buying stocks that they have heard of before and think are doing well. Extensive research is not needed for the first trades – students will learn more about diversification and how to build a proper portfolio throughout the investing unit. Towards the end of the Investing Unit, students will begin working more directly with their Team to define their Team’s investing objectives and how to achieve them, which will continue through the duration of the course.
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