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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Estancia students win stock market game

Students from Estancia, N.M., have taken top honors in the spring 2002 Stock Market Game sponsored by the College of Business Administration and Economics at New Mexico State University and the New Mexico Securities Division.

te championship was captured by Estancia High School students Anthony D. Chavez, Cindee Habersat, Alex Lovato and Stephanie Lawson, under the guidance of teacher Mildred Pritchett.

An innovative method for teaching economics to students, the Stock Market Game is a computer-simulated competition played this spring by almost 4,500 high school, middle school, and elementary students throughout New Mexico and West Texas.

"Because both national and international events affected the markets in very unpredictable ways this semester, we feel the participants learned some very valuable lessons toward our ultimate goal of promoting intelligent and educated investors," said Dorothy Hughes, Stock Market Game coordinator at New Mexico State University.

Each team begins with an imaginary $100,000 and during a 10-week period each semester "plays" the market, making transactions based on the daily closing prices from all three stock exchanges. Players may buy, sell, short sell and short cover and all transactions are charged a 2 percent broker fee. Teams may buy on margin and are charged 7 percent interest. Teams receive 5 percent interest on cash balances and receive dividends that are paid on stocks in their portfolios during the game. The goal is to make as much money as possible. The portfolios are updated daily, and ranking reports are generated weekly.

The Stock Market Game, an Internet simulation, requires computers in classrooms or in school libraries, but there is an option for teachers without computers to fax their teams' trades to a toll-free number for entry into the teams' portfolios. Not only do teams conduct all their transactions online, but they also perform most of their research online, aided by a number of links to other educational Web sites, many of which are available only to registered SMG teachers and students. More information can be obtained by visiting the SMG Web site at: http://www.smgww.org.

Each semester the top state, regional, and essay contest winners in New Mexico and West Texas are presented plaques and T-shirts and every participating teacher's top team members are awarded certificates. More than 600 awards were presented this spring. Both fall and spring winners are also invited to awards luncheons in Albuquerque and Las Cruces in May, Hughes said.

Other New Mexico winners included: High School Division, teacher Mildred Pritchett and students from Estancia High school; Middle School Division, teacher Shannon Seitz and students from Los Alamos Middle School; and Elementary School Division, teacher Olen J. Hedges and one student from Santa Rosa Elementary School.

Before the game each semester, Hughes offers training workshops, during which game rules and general investing information is provided. Anyone interested in participating in the workshops and/or the Stock Market Game can contact Hughes at (505) 646-3690; write to NMSU Stock Market Game, P.O. Box 5021, UPB, Las Cruces, NM 88003-5021; or e-mail dhughes@nmsu.edu.

Nationally, the Stock Market Game has been in operation for 26 years. More than 700,000 people participated last year in all 50 states. It is sponsored by the Securities Industry Foundation for Economic Education and receives financial support and the donation of teaching materials from many major corporations, brokerage firms and the three stock exchanges.

Jack King
May 2, 2002