By Spencer Inglett ’19 and Jack Davis ’19
The Brophy Stock Market Game, moderated by Social Studies Department Chair Ms. Kelly Guffey, brings a low-risk, high-reward competitive iteration of the stock market to campus.
Along with this, the Consumer Business and Finance class–taught by Mr. Blair Cook–readies students for their adult life.
The club meets in Ms. Guffey’s room every Thursday to discuss possible investments, trades, and the possible fluctuations of the stock market in the near future.
The cost of entry for the game is $10, which causes participants to be more invested in the ongoing competition, according to Ms. Guffey.
Additionally, the game awards prizes to the leader at the end of each month, consisting of $25 gift cards to various vendors, ranging from Chick-Fil-A to Panda Express.
The club decides to donate 20 percent of all proceeds to a non-profit organization, which has not been decided at this time.
The game, which started during the 2015-2016 school year, has evolved in recent years, growing from a three-month competition in the spring to a year long competition, allowing the participants to witness and experience the numerous fluctuations in the market over an extended period of time.
Ms. Guffey said she talked to other economics teachers from other schools, and they were doing a stock market game.
“In the past there had been an investment club, entrepreneurship club, business club and lots of students were asking about investment,” said Ms. Guffey. “Some students dabbled in the stock market and some had no background in it at all and wanted to learn about it.”
Club co-president Carson Kurtz ’18 was started participating in the game last year and learned a tremendous amount about the market.
Before taking on a leadership role, Kurtz was inspired by Ms. Guffey’s economics class.
“After taking Ms. Guffey’s class I became very interested in economics and finance,” said Kurtz. “I read quite a few books concerning these subjects over the summer and saw this as a great opportunity to stay in tune with finance my senior year.”
Peter Chong ’19 is a participant in the game this year, and wanted to understand the market.
“At the beginning of the year, Ms. Guffey announced the stock market club,” said Chong. “I got involved in the club because I wanted to understand the market terminology and be able to interpret the flow of the system so that I can make educated decisions regarding buying and selling.”
Chong also enjoys the nuances of the stock market and said that watching the social relevance dictate the success of a product fascinates him.
“It’s easy to reduce money to numbers, but in reality, high percentage growth is the culmination of years of hard work from teams of motivated individuals,” Chong said.
Kinner Patel ’18 takes part in the Consumer Business and Finance class, and said that the skills the class teaches often fly under the radar.
“The class introduces you to investing, using credit and debit cards, balancing a budget, having your own financial plan and planning,” he said. “These things are crucial when we seniors leave BCP because they are practical, everyday skills that become a part of our lives as an adult.”
Mr. Blair Cook said the class is composed of entirely seniors. He said that the class instructs the students on how to properly manage their money and not make mistakes in their adult life.
“We go through saving money, budgeting money,” Mr. Cook said. “We talk about debt, student debt, investing, retirement, insurance.”
Mr. Cook said that the class discussions about current news events is his favorite part about teaching it.
“Right now, we’re talking about the proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum, and how that’s going to affect consumers,” he said. “We also do this activity called the Budget Challenge, which is a simulation.”
Patel added that the class has taught him various skills.
“It has taught me how to create a spreadsheet and budget, to be an informed and educated consumer of goods and services, and to plan ahead for the future by investing wisely and selectively,” Patel said. “The class has also changed my perspective on business and being informed about money–it’s a skill that everyone can benefit from, no matter what you want to study or what you aspire to be because so much of our world revolves around our economy and economic interactions between people.