Intense Investing

Staff Writer December 7th marked the end of a month-long investing competition at Latin. Students from Mr. Greer’s Micro Economics classes as well as a handful of others competed from 8:30am-3pm every weekday to see who could beat the market. Each student started out with $100,000 USD which could  be invested in anything with a symbol—stocks, funds, ETF’s, etc. Every player had their own plan, ranging from Jeremy Leon’s plan to put all his money in Apple (AAPL) to my strategy of buying leveraged ETF’s (SPXU, URTY). This competition, however, often felt like more than just a game. Staying competitive required around the clock attention; most students in the class would admit to having checked their portfolio during class at least once. Junior Sam Lincoln commented on the atmosphere, acknowledging that it was “pretty intense”. Sam and his partner, senior Dutch Koldyke were the eventual winners, taking control of first place after anonymous investor ‘Trimmen Hedges’, who had a slim lead, dropped out in the final days of the competition. The team, named ‘Go Big or Go Home’, finished with a commanding $110,833 USD in profits, a nearly $8,000 USD lead over second place finisher Michael Begel. When asked about their investing strategy, Sam said their plan was to “navigate the volatile atmosphere of the fiscal cliff by focusing on small, daily profits.” He and Dutch invested in futures indexes that measure the expected volatility of different markets (VIXY), a plan that worked well for them. The Micro Economics teacher, Mr. Greer, was pleased by the competition and the work students put into it. A passive participant in the game, Mr. Greer’s portfolio served as a representation of the total stock market. He said the game served as a great reminder of how difficult it is to invest, for only three out of the twenty-five teams beat him, and, therefore, the market. Mr. Greer has used this competition in his class for a few years now, and it is easy to see why he continues to do so.  ]]>