Business students learn the ups and downs of investing in market simulation

1st place: L-R James Connor, Hayden Ayers, and Tyrek Haywood

Business School senior Hayden Ayers (4+1 Accounting) and juniors James Connor (BADM) and Tyrek Haywood (Trust), and the team of junior Adam Ardis (Trust) and senior Jared Williams (4+1 Trust) were named the top two winning teams in the fall 2019 Stock Market Competition at Campbell University this week. The teams placed second and fifth statewide out of 333 teams from 41 educational institutions.

Thirty-six students representing 19 Campbell teams got hands-on experience  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.

Each team was required to trade (buy and sell to complete at least one short transaction) on no less than five different trading dates during the September through November period. Teams used class lectures, textbook materials and a broad range of print and online sources to prepare their bi-weekly investment reports and submit their portfolio holdings and transaction history.

Ayers, Connor and Haywood placed first, beating the S&P 500 Growth Index by 12.9 percent. Their most profitable long position was in Align Technology, a manufacturer of 3D digital scanners and clear aligners used in orthodontics. It manufactures aligners in Juarez, Mexico and its scanners in Israel and China. This position helped to raise their total equity value from $100,000 to $120,258.04, a whopping 20.26 percent return in 10 short weeks’ time.

“I had a lot of fun playing the stock market game,” said Ayers. “Overall, a delightful experience that will benefit me in the future.” His teammate Connor affirmed that “with the right amount of research and knowledge about certain stocks, investing will be less of a risk and more of a reward.”

2nd place : L-R Adam Artis and Jared Williams

The second place team, Ardis and Williams, had a more balanced portfolio, with gains distributed evenly from highest to lowest among CVS, Disney, Apple, Microsoft, Square and Goldman Sachs stocks. Their $114,343.20 total equity value bettered the S&P 500 Growth Index by 7.01 percent. Ardis and Williams shorted 200 shares of Beyond Meat, a Los Angeles-based producer of plant-based meat substitutes, at $96.50 per share and covered it a month later at $84.48 per share, netting a total $2,394 profit after commission. Their  sense of market timing was perfect. 

“The stock market simulation was a great success,” said Ardis. “It allowed us to utilize our skills we have learned over the past few years at Campbell and put them to the test.”     

Dr. Shahriar Mostashari first introduced the mock stock market competition to his students in the late 1980s, and since the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business was founded in 1983, he can claim that virtually all Campbell Business students have received exposure to the art and science of investment through the activity.

“It has been a joy to ride the market’s swings – the ups and downs, booms and busts – with them,” he said, “sharing their agonies and celebrating their victories along the way.”

Mostashari’s Stock Market Game is utilized in classrooms across the country and is sponsored by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Foundation, which reports that more than 600,000 students take part every school year across all 50 states. The Stock Market Game has reached 18 million students since its inception in 1977.