Markets

Pint-Size Stock Pickers

Students at this school have a vested interest in the market.

Long division or long stock position? both are part of the curriculum at Chicago's Ariel Community Academy, a public school sponsored by Ariel Investments, where the kids are managing real-life portfolios.

Each first-grade class is given $20,000 to seed a portfolio. At first, the money is invested on their behalf as they study the savings-and-investment curriculum, a joint project of Ariel Investments and Nuveen Investments.

Finance classes start with counting coins. By sixth grade, students take more control of their portfolio.

Teacher Connie Moran says students usually choose to invest in names they recognize -- Nike, Target, McDonald's. And yes, their investments are down just like yours. Between March 31, 2008, and March 31, 2009, class portfolios fell an average of about 40%.

"They're no different than other investors; they're not happy with the loss," says Moran. Academy instructors are turning those losses into lessons learned.

When each eighth-grade class graduates, the original grant is donated back to the incoming first-grade class. Half of any profits go toward a gift that the class gives the school -- students also learn about philanthropy -- and the other half is divided among the students. (The school is hoping that this year isn't the first without profits.)

When the proceeds are divvied up in August, each student can either keep the cash or invest it for college. Lessons must be sinking in, because 95% of the students choose to invest.

Most Popular

Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
How to Calculate the Break-Even Age for Taking Social Security
social security

How to Calculate the Break-Even Age for Taking Social Security

When it comes to maximizing your Social Security benefits, there are many elements to consider. One factor that can be especially enlightening is your…
August 30, 2021
Spend Without Worry in Retirement
Financial Planning

Spend Without Worry in Retirement

Fears of running out of money prevent many retirees from tapping the nest egg they’ve worked a lifetime to save. With these strategies, you can genera…
August 30, 2021

Recommended

Investment Strategies for the 4 Stages of the Economic Cycle
Markets

Investment Strategies for the 4 Stages of the Economic Cycle

The U.S. economy is cyclical in nature, surging ahead and pulling back in waves over time. Investors’ portfolios need to change with the rise and the …
September 19, 2021
Is a Target Date Fund Right for You?
investing

Is a Target Date Fund Right for You?

You're busy, and poring over investments is a pain. Wouldn't a target date fund be easier? Take a look at their pros and cons to see if incorporating …
September 14, 2021
Is the Stock Market Closed on Labor Day?
Markets

Is the Stock Market Closed on Labor Day?

Stock markets and bond markets alike will enjoy their annual three-day weekend as America observes Labor Day.
September 5, 2021
Stock Market Holidays in 2021
Markets

Stock Market Holidays in 2021

Is the stock market open today? Take a look at which days the NYSE, Nasdaq and bond markets take off in 2021.
September 2, 2021