Business students awarded for placing in Stock Market Game competition

L-R: Dean O’Mara, Allison Lee (2nd Place, 14.23% return), Lucile Pons (1st Place, 17.17% return), Jonathan Gardner (4th Place, 8.46% return), and Dr. Mostashari.  Not pictured: Garrett Wilson (3rd Place, 10.58% return)

Lundy-Fetterman School of Business students Lucile Pons, Allison Lee, Garrett Wilson and Jonathan Gardner were named finalists in the Fall 2020 Stock Market Game (SMG) after spending their semester developing investment portfolios for the competition. 

Campbell Business partnered with, the global leader in financial education games, to give students simulated stock trading experience. The students used the StockTrak platform currently used by over 1,100 university classes each year, including 80 percent of the top business schools in the United States. Students in the top three teams produced an amazing double-digit gain using the program. They traded equities, mutual funds, corporate and treasury bonds in their Team and Personal Portfolio, with ample opportunities to trade options, futures and forex in their Practice Portfolio. 

Pons, a senior business administration and marketing major from Nice, France, and an athlete on the Women’s tennis team, came in first place. She earned a 17 percent return with a strategy focused on new energies, electrical equipment and communication services.

“This game made me understand better the real market and how it works,” Pons said. “I really like the competition, and I think it was really exciting to see how I could deal with a sector that I do not know especially.”

Pons and her peers got hands-on practice in their ECON 448-International Finance and ECON 453-Money & Banking classes, where they were asked to develop a successful investment portfolio by investing a virtual $100,000 in real world stocks, bonds, IPOs, and mutual funds traded on NYSE and NASDAQ exchanges.

Students were required to trade (buy and sell including short sell and short cover transactions) on at least four different trading dates during a 13-week period. They used class lectures, textbook materials, and a broad range of print and online sources including the StockTrak site to prepare their personal and team portfolio reports listing their portfolio holdings and transaction history.

Lee, a senior who hails from Plain View, NC, reflected on her own investment strategy after winning second place with a 14 percent return.

“When I started this game, I did not really know what I was doing, so I thought the best way to go was to stick with what I knew. This was my investment strategy: stick to stocks I understood.”

While Lee saw growth in familiar companies like Ford Motor Company, third and fourth place winners Wilson and Gardner focused on tech giants such as Amazon and Google, with Gardner taking a risk on Disney+ streaming service that took off. 

Professor of Business Shahriar Mostashari, PhD., introduced SMG to his Money and Banking class in the 1980s. Now, more than thirty years’ worth of Campbell Business students have had a taste of it.

“It has been fun to review student portfolios and learn about their investment strategies,” Mostashari said. “Some are very risk averse and others are thrill-seekers; many invest (trade infrequently) while a few focus on day trades (trade too much). Of interest was the contrast in their stock selection and their careful consideration of current events.”

Mostashari would like to thank the Fall 2020 SMG teams for their exemplary teamwork and camaraderie despite COVID-19 challenges.