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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -
At a time when many people are worried about their financial future, some Biloxi High students have made some smart moves when it comes to investing in the stock market. They recently captured several top honors in the statewide Stock Market competition.
As an economics teacher at Biloxi High School, Daniel Wasilenko wants his students to understand basic money management skills. Last year, some of his students surprised everyone by capturing first, second, and third place in the Mississippi Stock Market Game.
"I couldn't believe it. It was just pretty amazing," said Wasilenko. "I didn't think it was going to happen. It was kind of tight there towards the end. We ended up edging it out."
Three Biloxi High teams beat out 497 teams from across the state.
Here's how the online competition works. Each team is given $100,000 in pretend money to invest in real companies. The students have to do their own research, evaluate risks and be able to manage unexpected drops in stock prices. The goal is to make as much money as you can during the 10 week period.
"Our first place team finished with a 14 percent gain. They made basically 14 percent above the S&P-500," said Wasilenko.
That means, the top team made more than $11,000 with its wise investments.
"They just did their homework. They researched. They took some risks and they were rewarded," said Wasilenko.
The winning teams will be honored this Spring at a ceremony in Jackson.
"It's a good way to teach them that they can build wealth over time. You just got to stick with it. Invest early and often. That's our class motto," said Wasilenko.
The early financial lessons could help the teens reap big returns in the future.
Biloxi High has placed in the top five consistently over the past few years. The next Stock Market competition starts in February. The team with the highest overall total this entire school year will win the grand prize--a trip to New York City.
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