Harris Economics wins citywide and nationwide awards

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Photo Courtesy of Alex Wood.
Photo Courtesy of Alex Wood.

A group of seniors placed first in Queens after making the most money in the Stock Market game, as part of the Economics class. The members of the winning team were Jyothis Johnson, Alvin Lachhman, Isaac Pulatov, and Mark Rangasamy.

The Stock Market Game, part of the SIFMA foundation, is in its 35th year and has helped over 12 million students nationwide gain a working knowledge of the financial sector. Teams start with $100,000 in virtual money and invest in a system that simulates the actual stock market.

After researching market activity, the team purchased stocks in a number of companies, including Bank of America, Tempur Pedic, and Monster. While investing in Monster, a death having to do with the company’s energy drink was reported, and the stock plunged, bringing the team down with it.

Close to the bottom rank and with nothing to lose, the team then invested most of its money on Netflix stock. The team made this decision with a “gut feeling approach,” according to Isaac.

This risky move shot its rank to the top as the stock’s value went up.

“It was mostly luck. Just like the real stock market, this one was very volatile,” said Mark.

Jyothis concluded that one’s performance in the game is truly unpredictable: “No matter how well you start, it’s no reflection of how you’re going to end up.”

In addition to this game, Kevin Page, senior, individually placed first on the state level Invest Write Competition and second nationally.

The W!SE organization also ranked Townsend Harris 10th in the nation for financial literacy, based on the standardized Financial Literacy Certification Test.

Though the curriculum for the Economics class is not driven by these competitions, Mr. Wood says that it provides great motivation. “I’ve never thought of it as a competition, but it’s a good incentive,” he said.

He also stressed the importance of being educated about finances: “It’s one thing that can definitely save students real money when they’re in college and after college.”

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