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Top teams in Stock Market Game competition receive prize money from credit union

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: The top teams will be recognized at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12, at the Bernice Fite Willis Lobby in the Business Complex at New Mexico State University.


first time in its 22-year history, the New Mexico State University Stock Market Game program was able to award cash prizes: $50 savings accounts for each winning team member.

A separate Doņa Ana County competition of NMSU's Stock Market Game took place and the top teams in three grade levels will be recognized by FirstLight Federal Credit Union at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12, in the Bernice Fite Willis Lobby in the Business Complex on campus.

The top Doņa Ana County high school team consisted of students under teacher Philip C. Daly of Las Cruces High School; the top middle school winners were students at Sierra Middle School under the guidance of teacher Charles Galt; and first place in the elementary division was taken by students at Hillrise Elementary, advised by teacher Dennis Woodard. The State Championship was nabbed by a single student "team" from Rehoboth Christian School, one mile east of Gallup, N.M. The sole team member was Earvin Cadman, who participated under the guidance of his high school teacher, Brian Kruis.

An innovative method for teaching a wide variety of subjects, the SMG program is a computer-simulated competition played this fall by almost 2,200 New Mexico participants.

"The stock market stayed fairly level this fall, but many of the winning teams made gains on tech stocks for a change, such as Google and Apple," said Dorothy Hughes, Stock Market Game coordinator at NMSU. "Several winning portfolios showed a great deal of diversity."

Hughes said that through a new writing requirement students were successful at distinguishing between the sorts of strategy needed for the short-term program (10 weeks), versus what might work best in real life.

"Many felt that seeking the advice of a professional would be a wise way to begin," Hughes said. "These are the lessons we intend for students to learn from our program and it is reassuring to know that teachers are communicating this valuable information to their students."

SMG teams begin with an imaginary $100,000 and, during a 10-week period each semester, make transactions with real stocks and mutual funds traded on the three major U.S. stock exchanges for which they are given actual closing prices. 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 increase the value of the portfolio as much as possible in 10 weeks.

The Stock Market Game? is the only stock market simulation-based educational program endorsed nationally by both the industry (the Securities Industry Association) and the regulators of the industry (the Securities and Exchange Commission). Played on the Internet, teams conduct all their transactions and perform much of their research online. They are aided by a number of educational resources and Web sites, many of which are only available to registered SMG teachers and students. Teachers are issued an ID for a Teacher Support Center where they can view their teams' portfolios, take online tutorials, plan lessons and access the Learning Resource Center where many lesson plans and exercises are available. More information can be obtained by visiting the SMG Web site at: http://www.stockmarketgame.org.

Each semester the top state, regional, essay contest and strategy summary winners in New Mexico are presented with plaques, T-shirts and certificates, and every participating teacher's top team members receive certificates. In addition, winners from both semesters are invited to attend an awards luncheon held in May.

Before the game each semester, Hughes offers training workshops, during which game rules, research techniques, classroom uses of the program and general investing information are provided. Anyone interested in participating can call Dorothy Hughes at (505) 646-3690; e-mail her at dhughes@nmsu.edu or log onto the main Web site to more about the program.

Nationally, SMG has been in operation for 29 years in all 50 states and has served more than nine million students during this time. It is administered by the Foundation for Investor Education, the non-profit branch of the Securities Industry Association, and receives financial support and donated teaching materials from many major corporations, brokerage firms and the three stock exchanges.

Jan. 9, 2006
CONTACT: Dorothy Hughes, (505) 646-3690