CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Lindblom Math & Science Academy was named the winner on Saturday at the first-ever Magnetar Ultimate Stock Trading Challenge, a day-long stock trading event that brought together nearly 100 Chicago Public High School students to learn first-hand how the stock market works.
The Challenge was sponsored by the Magnetar Youth Investment Academy, a financial literacy program currently in 21 locations throughout Chicago. The program is underwritten by the Magnetar Capital Foundation, and employees from the Evanston-based alternative asset group mentored students throughout the day.
Students worked as teams on trading floor-style terminals using a specially-created software application to trade $100,000 mock portfolios during three trading cycles. Prior to each opening bell, students received economic indicators that they used as a strategic factor in building their portfolios.
At the end of the three trading cycles, the teams with the three largest portfolios claimed prize money for their school.
The winners of the 2013 Magnetar Ultimate Stock Trading Challenge are:
First Place ($5,000)
- Lindblom Math & Science Academy -- Final Portfolio Value: $140,732 (up 40.7%)
Second Place ($2,500)
- Urban Prep Academy Bronzeville -- Final Portfolio Value: $126,767 (up 26.7%)
Third Place ($1,500)
- Rauner College Prep -- Final Portfolio Value: $123,874 (up 23.8%)
“Teamwork was the most important thing today for us,” said Micole Thompson, senior at Lindblom Math & Science Academy. “It feels great to be the winning team and responsible for helping out our school, we learned a lot today.”
“We are grateful for the opportunity that Magnetar has given us, both today and through their support in helping develop the curriculum for this program,” said Sarah Doyle, high school math teacher at Lindblom Math & Science Academy. “A lot of students come into the program not knowing what investing is. Now, as we are deeper in the curriculum, students realize how they can use what they learned in the classroom and apply it in their future.”
“The Magnetar Academy teaches students the basics of financial literacy, such as the importance of budgeting, credit and debt, and saving and investing,” said Alec Litowitz, founder and CEO of Magnetar Capital. “Along the way, we have discovered that our students are very enthusiastic about learning more about financial markets. The Challenge gave them a creative, hands-on way to see what it’s like to work on a trading floor and learn more about the mechanics of the markets.”
In addition to the winning schools, Gary Comer Youth Center, Gary Comer College Prep, Golder College Prep, Roger C. Sullivan High School, UIC College Prep, Uplift Community High School and Whitney M. Young Magnet High School fielded teams at the event.
Since its founding in the fall of 2011, more than 300 high school students have participated or are participating in Magnetar Youth Investment Academy programs, most of which are taught as after-school enrichment programs. Students receive 40 hours of instruction on a variety of topics, including financial planning and decision making, money management, risk management, credit and debt, and saving and investing.
At the end of the course, graduates are invited to compete in a year-long Magnetar Stock Market Portfolio Competition, which awards a college scholarship to the student with the highest-performing portfolio at each participating high school.
Additionally, all graduates receive a gift certificate for $100 to open a custodial investment account, as well as educational sessions for students and their guardians about how the account works.
The Magnetar Capital Foundation underwrites all costs of the program, including curriculum development and evaluation, teacher stipends, college scholarships, custodial investment accounts for graduates and all other program expenses.
For more information about the Magnetar Youth Investment Academy, visit www.magnetaracademy.org.