Feature Highlight – Weekly Deposits

Spending and Saving

You’re planning to use the PersonalFinanceLab stock game in your class. You’ve used stock games before, and have seen some students buy something in the first week, then forget about it until the end of the semester.

You want to encourage students to keep an eye on their portfolio, and re-balance it over time, just like a real retirement account. What can you do?

Introducing Weekly Deposits

Weekly Deposits was designed exactly with this scenario in mind. With Weekly Deposits, you can start off your class stock game with much less “initial cash” – maybe just $500 or $1000 (which is a lot more tangible to students than a $100,000 portfolio).

Then each Monday, the system will automatically deposit extra cash into their account, which students can use to build their portfolio over time – just like a real, growing retirement account.

Here’s How It Works

  • When you create your class, choose the “Custom Settings”.
  • When you get to the Stock Game settings, you’ll have the option to set a “Weekly Deposit” for your class
    • You can also add weekly deposits later from “Edit Session Settings”
  • Now every Monday morning, students will have that extra cash available to invest
  • This extra cash is added to their Initial Cash, so it doesn’t count as pure portfolio returns (just like adding cash to a regular brokerage account).

Here’s WHY It Works

With a regular stock game, you will always have a few students who get super engaged and find it to be the best activity of the year. But students who don’t immediately get attracted to investing might not be so enthusiastic.

From our student feedback, the most common reasons for this fall into two buckets:

  1. That the starting cash is just too much money – they’ll never have $100,000 in cash, so investing is only really for rich people
  2. They spent time at the start of the semester picking a few stocks, and didn’t see a good reason to change their first picks

Weekly Deposits addresses both of these concerns. First, it allows teachers to start off with very little starting cash for their class (as little as $100), which brings down the bar for how much money a person needs before they think about investing.

Second, extra cash is added to their portfolio every week, forcing students to think about what they want to DO with it. Maybe they will add it to the same stocks they already had. But maybe they heard something about what Elon Musk is doing with Tesla this week, or that an AI revolution is making waves with Nvidia – is that something they want to add to their portfolio? And what does that mean for their other holdings?

We think that Weekly Deposits can bring your stock game to a whole new level of engagement – and that’s what we’re all about!

Happy Trading!

-The PFinLab Team