BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - They made $26,000 in just three months and they are only 18-years old. Four Biloxi High students just captured the top prize this semester in the Mississippi Stock Market Competition, outperforming hundreds of other teams at the high school, middle school, and elementary level.
"I jumped up and down in the restaurant," said Biloxi High Senior Madison Picolo.
"It feels really good. I feel smart," said Biloxi High Senior Carley Walker.
They started the competition in September with $100,000 in imaginary money and had to invest in "real" companies. Their goal was to make as much money as possible in 12-weeks.
"When oil prices dropped, we saw that as an opportunity to buy it cheap," said Carley.
Their teacher gave them this piece of advice.
"Pigs get fat. Hogs get slaughtered. It's good to be a pig. That means take your money and run as you make it. Don't overextend your stay in one particular stock," said Economics Teacher Daniel Wasilenko.
The students focused on big news events. For instance, following the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, they bought stocks in a company that made body cameras for police officers. Then, there was the Ebola scare.
"So we found InLink I think, and it kept going up and up with each outbreak. We invested in that and made a lot of money," said Madison.
Technology stocks also soared.
"It was around the holidays and Black Friday and Christmas. So that's the time when everybody's buying things," said Biloxi High Senior Shunterrius Holt.
The team won by finishing 26-percent above the S&P 500. They gained a lot of knowledge and experience. Talk about a wise investment in their financial future.
"I actually think I'll invest in stocks in real life after this, because you can really make a good amount of money for yourself," said Madison. "I never really thought of anything for finance and I actually really enjoyed it, looking up all the stocks and researching it all and taking risks. It was fun."
"The sooner they start, the better off they're going to be in the long run. So they understand there's risk involved, but there's a lot of reward too," said Wasilenko.
The team will be honored at an awards ceremony on May 8 in Jackson. Biloxi High has won the overall title three times. The spring competition will start next month.