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Rosspoint principal teaching students about financial success

Rosspoint Elementary School students are learning about the “highs and lows” of the stock market and investing. Principal Bryan Howard is teaching the hands-on class, part of a game offered through the Sima Foundation.

Howard and his students are working with Todd Broker, CFP, director of the Center for Economic Education and the Kentucky Stock Market Game Coordinator from Murray State University.

Howard utilizes prompts from the game, videos and other resources to help his students learn to buy, sell and trade stocks. Portfolios are monitored and the successes and failures are tracked for portfolio gains and losses.

The Rosspoint students are among 4,000 across the state taking part, according to Todd Broker, director of the Center for Economic Education at the Bauernfeind College of Business at Murray State University. He is also the coordinator for the KY Stock Market Game.

Nationally, the program has helped 17 million students learn to prepare for financially independent futures, Howard said.

Broker explained the game is played when each participating student team “receives $100,000 virtual cash to invest in tradable stocks/mutual funds on the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ as they wish. They compete by trying to get the best returns as compared to other students / schools around the state and winners are awarded prizes and money for their success.”

Broker said the top performing team at Rosspoint as of February 22 has a Total Equity position of $110,552.19, which represents a 9.27 percent return above the S&P 500 index. Their best performing stock was Slack Technologies Inc., a computer software company. That stock has unrealized gains of nearly 36 percent for these students (as of Feb. 22).

Those team members are Landon McCreary, Dallas Sergent, Bryan Howard, Brayden Howard and Darren Alred.

Howard said he is elated with the reception he has seen from the students. He spoke of their excitement when growing their portfolios with successful purchases and their frustrations when they lose money because of bad choices.

Howard said one group of students was full of excitement last week thinking they had made a lot of money, only to come to class and learn they failed to complete their transaction.

He said that was a great lesson for the students, one they will remember for the rest of their lives.

They see the impact of good and bad decisions and why it is important to research before making transactions and the ramifications for not doing so, added Howard.

Howard said students received a dose of reality on Monday as they saw their hard work and gains experience turbulent times.

“It is a blood bath today,” he said, pointing out drastic decline in stocks.

Taelor Haywood said the stock market game has “taught me how it works. Later in life when I actually do the stocks, I won’t need to learn how to do it. I will already know and be able to make good selections.”

Will Cassim, an eighth grader, said he enjoys the class and works to find financial news of companies to support his decisions on dumping or buying stocks.

“It is a fun learning experience that teaches us life lessons on how to invest,” said Cassim.

Portfolios are ranked with students who are doing great and others not so well. Rosspoint has several students with stocks performing well and ranking near the top in growth.

Student Bryan Howard, the principal’s son, said the game has “expanded my knowledge on the stock market. It is a fun experience.”

Broker said he is excited for the potential growth in the program as other schools and districts learn of the opportunity.

“At this time we have very limited involvement from schools in southeastern Kentucky, but interest has grown over the last couple of years. We expect more to become involved as time goes on when schools, teachers and students all see the value of this program.”