What's Happening In Southern Alberta

Regional ISP Students Win

Calgary has had teams win the Investment Strategies Program (ISP) simulation but this fall a pair of Edison School students from the Foothills Region came out on top. The team of Owen Martin and Chloe Crump earned $81,000 over the six-week period with their investments.

The ISP program allows students the opportunity to invest $100,000 virtual money in the stock market. They follow the stocks in real time but their investments are simulated and do not effect the value. The fall session had 2009 teams of students from Western Ontario to BC competing for top billing.

Longtime JA volunteer Mardell Chinoook, went into the classroom to work with the Edison students and teach them some of the ins and outs of the stock market. The students then made decisions on what stocks to purchase and tracked them over the next six weeks. They could trade any stock worth $2 or more on the NYSE, TSX and NASDAQ exchanges. Teams could also borrow up to $50,000.

As for the strategy employed by the winning team, Chloe Crump said they maintained a regular watch on the markets and kept their eyes open for top movers daily. The limited timeframe required an aggressive investment strategy.

“It’s a very short amount of time, you can’t take on the ones (investments) that are going to make money in a long-time,” she said. “We made most of our money in a span of three days.”

Their biggest gain came from an investment in Wins Financial Holdings. It was a gamble, and Owen Martin said they went all in.

“I bought it in the morning for like $50 a share and I put all of our money in it and then it hit $163 a share later in the day,” he said.

When asked about taking such a risk Martin was quick to point out that if the money was real he may not have done it. He felt the program was a valuable lesson – teaching about investing, finance, the importance of research and the risks that come with playing the stock market. Their team made money but other teams at the bottom of the rankings ended up in debt.

“It teaches you about money management and how no matter what you do there is a risk,” said Martin.

The team of Crump and Martin were one of four from Edison School involved in the program. Three other Edison teams placed in the top 25 per cent of the competition and they ranked high among Alberta teams.


Acknowledgments – Quotes and picture courtesy of Don Patterson – Okotoks Western Wheel