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New Mexico State University

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McCamey, El Paso and Plainview students top West Texas in NMSU Stock Market Game

Students from McCamey, El Paso and Plainview, Texas, have taken top honors in the Spring 1999 Stock Market Game and SMG2000, sponsored by the New Mexico State University College of Business Administration and Economics and the New Mexico Securities Division. The West Texas Championship was won by McCamey High School teacher James Hall and students Ricardo Urias (captain), Gerardo Urias, Guy Day, Marty Tripp and Bubba Norwood. The top winner in the SMG Essay Contest, Bull Division (grades 9-12) was student Luz Pedroza of Austin High School in El Paso, under the guidance of her teacher Daniel Boerger. The Bear Division (grades 5-8) winner was student Breann Brantley of Ash Sixth Grade Learning Center in Plainview, under the guidance of her teacher, Amy Manchee.

An innovative method for teaching economics to students, the NMSU Stock Market Game is a computer-simulated competition played by over 4,500 high school, middle school and elementary school students throughout New Mexico and West Texas. According to Dorothy Hughes, NMSU Stock Market Game coordinator, "The game this fall has been exciting as well as educational due to the continuing increase of stock prices, despite a few scary dips. Winning portfolios held many technical and Internet stocks, many of which showed large gains during the course of the game."

Each team playing the game begins with an imaginary $100,000 to invest in the market during a 10-week period, making transactions based on 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 also may buy on margin, says Hughes, but are charged interest at 7 percent. The goal is to make as much money as possible during the 10-week period. The McCamey team ended with a West Texas championship-winning $380,271.

There are two versions of the game. In the traditional method, transactions are recorded on scan sheets that are mailed to NMSU, read by an optical scanner, then fed into a computer. Each week the portfolios are updated and mailed, along with a ranking report, to each participating team. An Internet version called SMG2000 began three years ago and has been steadily gaining in popularity, especially because the portfolios are updated daily, Hughes said. Over 65 percent of the teams participating this year were registered in SMG2000, representing a 228 percent increase from last year. Teams are able to conduct their transactions online and receive dividends and interest on cash balances. Rankings still are performed weekly on Friday nights. The Internet address is http://www.smg2000.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. Over 800 awards were presented this fall, Hughes said. All of the year's winners also are invited to awards luncheons in Albuquerque and Las Cruces.

Other West Texas winners included Plains High School students and teacher Edwin Brink, SMG Northwest High School Division; Coronado High School (El Paso) students and teacher Judy Shipp, SMG Southwest High School Division; Ash Sixth Grade students and teacher Marla Howard, SMG Middle-Elementary Division; Odessa High School students and teacher Sheila Carson, SMG2000 grades 9-12; and Parkland Middle School (El Paso) students and teacher Richard Flato, SMG2000 grades 4-8.

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

Nationally, the Stock Market Game has been in operation for 23 years; over 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.
Rachel Kendall
May 12, 1999