December 22, 1998 by Rachel Kendall NMSU News Center
Students from Los Lunas, N.M., have taken top honors in the Fall 1998 Stock Market Game and SMG2000, sponsored by the New Mexico State University College of Business Administration and Economics and the New Mexico Securities Division. The State Champions hip was won by Los Lunas High School teacher Cynthia Baca and students Jennifer Garcia (captain), Dennis Knight, Elmer Otero and Matt Hernandez. The top winner in the SMG Essay Contest, Bull Division (grades 9-12), was Aubrey Work, also a Los Lunas High School student.
An innovative method for teaching economics to students, the NMSU Stock Market Game is a computer-simulated competition played by over 5,000 high school, middle school and elementary school students throughout New Mexico and West Texas. According to Dorothy Hughes, NMSU Stock Market Game coordinator, “The game this fall has been exciting as well as educational due to the wild fluctuations in stock prices. Winning portfolios held many technical and Internet stocks, most of which ended higher.”
Each team playing the game begins with an imaginary $100,000 with which they play the market during a 10-week period each semester, making transactions based on daily closing prices from all three stock exchanges. Players may buy, sell, short sell and short cover, and all transactions are charged a 2 percent broker fee. Teams also may buy on margin, says Hughes, but are charged interest at 7 percent. The goal is to make as much money as possible during the 10-week period. The Los Lunas team ended with a state championship-winning $183,387.
There are two versions of the game. The traditional method is a scansheet version in which transactions are recorded on scan sheets that are mailed to NMSU, read by an optical scanner, then fed into a computer. Each week the portfolios are updated and ma iled, along with a ranking report, to each participating team. An Internet version called SMG2000 began two years ago and has been steadily gaining in popularity, especially since the portfolios are updated daily, Hughes said. Over 65 percent of the teams participating this fall were registered in SMG2000. Teams are able to conduct their transactions online and receive dividends and interest on cash balances. Rankings still are performed weekly on Friday nights. The Internet address is http://www.smg2000. org.
Each year the top state, regional and essay contest winners in New Mexico and West Texas are presented with plaques and T-shirts and every participating teacher’s top team members are awarded certificates. Over 600 awards were presented this fall, Hughes said.
Other New Mexico winners included Tularosa High School students and teacher Ron Bookout, first place, SMG High School Division; another Los Lunas High School team under teacher Cynthia Baca, second place, SMG High School Division; St. Michael’s High Scho ol students and teacher Kimberly Roos, first place, SMG2000 grades 9-12, Los Alamos Home Educators students and teacher Kelly Gillis Baer, first place, SMG2000 grades 5-8; and NMSU student Shari Deason, first place, SMG2000 College Division.
In addition to coordinating the game in New Mexico and West Texas, Hughes also directs the NMSU Regional Processing Center, one of only three in the United States, where 10 states are processed. Before the game each semester Hughes offers several trainin g workshops, during which game rules and general investing information is provided. Anyone interested in participating in the workshops or the Stock Market Game can contact Hughes at (505) 646-3690, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at NMSU Stock Market Game, P.O. Box 5021, UPB, Las Cruces, NM 88003-5021.
Nationally, the Stock Market Game has been in operation for 22 years; over 700,000 people participated last year in all 50 states. It is sponsored by the Securities Industry Foundation for Economic Education and receives financial support and the donation of teaching materials from many major corporations, brokerage firms and the three stock exchanges.