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West Hartford Fourth Grader Recognized Nationally for Long-Range Investment Plan

Amy Long (right), with her parents Qianru Yu (mom) and Quin Long (dad), Quest teacher Elyse Post-Perez (far left) and Liz Reidel, managing director of the SIMFA foundation and former Bugbee parent. Courtesy photo

The SIFMA Foundation announced that ‘portfolio prodigy’ Amy Long, a fourth grader at West Hartford’s Bugbee Elementary School, was recognized for earning eighth place in the national  ‘InvestWrite’ Competition.

By Ronni Newton

A West Hartford fourth grader has developed a long-term investment strategy that focuses on more than saving up for a coveted toy or some candy.

Amy Long, 9, now a rising fifth grader at Bugbee Elementary School, and her teacher Elyse Post Perez, were surprised Monday, June 13 with a presentation by the SIFMA Foundation, which awarded Amy eighth place nationally in the Spring 2022 InvestWrite Competition.

The SIFMA Foundation, which referred to Amy as a “portfolio prodigy,” said she developed an investment strategy “primed for long-term success.” Amy’s plan, which involved extensive research, was judged against thousands of other elementary school students across the country.

“The SIFMA Foundation ensures young people of all backgrounds are better prepared for their financial lives,” said Melanie Mortimer, president of the SIFMA Foundation in an announcement. “We congratulate Amy on this remarkable achievement and commend her teacher and school for their commitment to financial education.”

The InvestWrite national essay competition is the culmination of the Stock Market Game, a curriculum-based financial education program through which students manage a hypothetical $100,000 online portfolio that includes stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and cash. The multidisciplinary InvestWrite competition incorporates skills in math, social studies, language arts, and research into the market and investments needed to determine long-term saving and investment strategy.

Students in grades 4 through 12 were asked to respond to the following prompt for the Spring 2022 InvestWrite competition: What is something you learned about investing that you didn’t know before participating in The Stock Market Game. Explain how this can help your future and help others. If you were investing $100,000 to perform well over the next 30 years, what stocks, bonds, and mutual funds would you choose and why? Long wowed the panel of expert judges with her thoughtful and insightful essay.

Long’s eighth place essay can be found below.

This essay will reflect on my knowledge of stocks. I’ve learned that stocks can gain you money or lose you money, but you need cash to buy it. We were given $100,000 virtually at the beginning of the game, but in real life, we need to work hard to gain the money first. Or, if you are lucky, get it as a gift from others.

The definition of a stock is basically a fraction of the company’s ownership that you can buy.

I’ve also learned that many things affect stock prices. The stock price reflects what people predict that may likely happen in the future, which will affect the profit the company makes. For example, when Covid first started in March 2020, there was a lockdown and plenty of people sold airline stocks because they didn’t know how bad Covid was, and how long it would continue affecting us. They predicted people would not travel for a while and airline companies would lose money. During that time, stocks like JetBlue and Delta dropped significantly. For example, JetBlue’s stock cost $20.61 on February 21st, and dropped all the way to $7.15 on March 13th. In 2021, however, you can see a major change in the stock. It is starting to go back up, since people think Covid will stop soon, and traveling in planes will be safer.

Something else that I learned is that a single stock changes a lot more than a mutual fund, or a combination of stocks. It isn’t that much of a surprise because the individual stocks in a mutual fund may go up and down, and some cancel out each other, so calculating the total there is less change seen. We should probably invest a majority of our money into mutual funds because they are more stable.

Lastly, I have learned when to buy and sell stocks. You should buy when the stocks are low. That way you will not need to spend too much money on buying stocks. You sell when stocks are higher. That way, the money gained will stay with you. If your stock keeps dipping low, you should keep it, unless it is very obvious that it will keep losing you money.

Many people participate in The Stock Market Game, which opens them to the world of stocks. It helps them learn more about stocks, such as the facts I have listed above. They will be prepared for becoming future investors in life, so they can use the information to buy and sell stocks wisely. I have talked to my parents, and they have agreed that when I am older, I can open my own stock account and invest my earned income in stocks.

Time is my best friend, since I will start early in real-life stocks. For example, investment in SP500 during 2019 would give me short-term loss, but if I keep investing until 2022, I would still have long-term gain. That’s why you might consider investing in mutual funds; they are more stable, though there is a saying about individual stocks: More risk, more gain (and possibly more loss).

The Stock Market Game would benefit others’ futures because many student investors have entered in the competition, and they will gain their own knowledge of stocks. Also, I could give advice to teach others about stocks and prepare them for the stock world. So many people will be given the opportunity to participate in the contest, and they could teach others about stocks too! The ripple effect will benefit many peoples’ futures by spreading early knowledge about stocks! The profit from investing can help us both with our own lives (college tuition) and causes (donating)! The Stock Market Game could benefit your future too!

You must have learned that stocks gain and lose mainly because of peoples’ predictions. However, there are many stocks that I would like to congratulate on being helpful and reliable. First of all, there is Raytheon. Raytheon is a company that mainly manufactures defensive systems. Unexpected actions of Russia-Ukraine increased the budget in national defense in other countries, such as Japan and Germany. Raytheon is my biggest earner: my group bought about 200 shares of RTX, and the stock earned us nearly $2000!

Other stocks I probably would buy in the future are the stocks from large companies with good cash flow that make everyday products, such as Microsoft (Windows, Word, PowerPoint), Apple (cell phones, computers), Google (we Google every day), or Amazon (online shopping, Whole Foods). Of course, like I said earlier, I will put a lot of my money into mutual funds that track SP500 or Nasdaq.

For more information about the SIFMA Foundation for Investor Education, visit their website. More information about InvestWrite can be found here. and further details about SIFMA area available here.

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