AUSTIN, Texas - If you invest your money wisely, you can reap the rewards later in life. Imparting that knowledge is the goal of a national competition teaching financial literacy to middle and high school students.
Locally, the group 100 Black Men of Austin and several financial partners, including Charles Schwab, hosted a 10-week stock market game.
Each Saturday, 54 students in four groups learn by playing a simulated version of the stock market online. Financial professionals would also teach students how to read stock market quotes and what to look out for while investing.
"I was going into this game not really knowing too much about the stock market," said Texas Empowerment Academy senior Kennedy Monroe. "But, now as I'm, every week on Saturday, I'm growing and learning and understanding how to really and truly invest in myself, so one day I can become an investor."
It was really hands-on learning, including when the GameStop surge happened where individual investors coordinated in massive numbers on Reddit and used platforms such as Robinhood to buy up GameStop shares.
"But, I think it really puts emphasis on how quick money doesn't last," said Round Rock High School senior Jayden Bright. "And, so when the GameStop surge happened, you saw your quick, probably 700 percent increase in the growth, but, about a week after that, you're down to about 5 dollars. So, I think it really shows when you're trying to become financially free, it's a long-term thing, over a very short-term thing."
"We particularly wanted to provide this to students of color because this isn't something that's taught in a lot of black households, a lot of minority households," said Romaine Anglin, VP of economic development for the 100 Black Men of Austin. "How to save, how to invest, how to grow your money."
At the end of the stock market game, students will get a $25 stipend for every lesson they attended. Scholarships will also be awarded to the top three student teams who've accumulated the highest amount of equity in their portfolios at the end of a competition.