Business cohort experiences high returns in Stock Market Competition

Lundy-Fetterman School of Business students Nolan Hesko, Mason Burrows, Connor Woods, Lindsey Adams, and Zachary Turlington were named finalists in the Spring 2022 Stock Market Game (SMG) after spending their semester developing investment portfolios for the competition.

Campbell Business partnered with How the Market Works, a 100% free virtual stock market simulator that allows students to practice investing before using real money. The platform is currently used by over 400,000 individuals and students each year.

Students competed against their peers, across three Spring semester classes — ECON 202 Principles of Macroeconomics, ECON 420 Money & Banking, and ECON 457 International Trade — under the direction of Dr. Shahriar Mostashari, associate dean for external relations and professor of business, for a 10-week period.

Mostashari said he was proud to witness the outstanding results of these five students.

“Kudos to our spring 2022 SMG competition winners for with standing numerous headwinds including: record high inflation, labor market shortage, declining GDP, falling consumer confidence, Russia invasion of Ukraine, circulating Omicron variant, China’s lockdown and supply chain disruption, fed’s rate hikes and tapering and a volatile market.”

Nolan Hesko, a senior Professional Golf Management major from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, came in first place. He earned almost a 27% return with a strategy focused on investing in crypto currency.

Hesko outlined his model for investing, stating, “[it] allowed for large risk but huge reward knowing that these crypto investments would fall 20-30% and then I profited as it rose to 20%-30% upwards.”

He added, “I thoroughly enjoyed the stock market game and earning over 374% within 10 weeks was quite exciting and gave me a great idea on how I can invest my real money into the market.”

This cohort of students got hands-on experience, each receiving $100,000 of virtual cash, to use in developing a successful investment portfolio by investing in real world stocks, bonds, IPOs, and mutual funds traded on NYSE and NASDAQ exchanges.

Students used class lectures, textbook materials, and a broad range of print and online sources including the Education Center on How the Market Works website to prepare their personal portfolio reports listing their portfolio holdings and transaction history.

Zachary Turlington, a Junior Business Administration and Management major from Coats, NC, placed fifth in the competition, finishing with a return rate of 5.40%.

Turlington said, “Prior to taking Macroeconomics and competing in the SMG, I had little to no real hands-on experience trading stock.”

“The teaching/training videos and other resources that the SMG offered really helped me to comprehend all the different terms. The SMG offers a great opportunity to get experience and make “risky” trades without losing your own money, especially while learning to trade for the first time.”

In addition to playing the SMG, ECON 202 and ECON 420 classes took a 6-question Financial Literacy Quiz offered by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. The comparison of these class averages with the national and the State of North Carolina’s showed that both pre and post test results in ECON 202 (4.0 and 4.9) and ECON 420 (5.0 and 5.2) were above the national (3.0 points) and State (2.9 points) averages.

“The Stock Market Game (SMG) is another example of the LFSB’s efforts to provide hands-on and experiential business activities,” said Kevin O’Mara, Dean of the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business. “Simulations are wonderful training grounds for students to learn, react, and experience many of the mental and emotional aspects of business. The SMG is particularly good as it uses the real stock market for context. I applaud all these students for their success, especially during our recent uneven stock market. We hope this experience will encourage some of them to join our Burt Family Student-led Investment Fund where our LFSB students invest real money.”

Photo (left to right): Dean O’Mara, Nolan Hesko (1st Place, 26.98% return), Mason Burrows (2nd Place, 14.22% return), Connor Woods (3rd Place, 13.10% return), Lindsey Adams (4th Place, 6.50% return), Zachary Turlington (5th Place, 5.40% return), and Dr. Mostashari.