St. Rita Stock Club wins 1st Place in Fall 2012 Stock Market Game Competition

The St. Rita Stock Club won first place in the Chicago fall 2012 stock market competition. The winning team members were Victor Luna, Quentin Gray, Erik Landstrom, Collin Rook, Stanton Zaczek, Ian Leyden, and Miguel Stein. The winning team members will be recognized at an awards reception on Wednesday January 16, 2013 at the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

The Chicago fall 2012 competition ran from mid September 2012 through December 14, 2012. Each team starts with $100,000 to invest in publicly traded companies or mutual funds through a computer simulation. This team finished with $110,445 which is a return of 10.4% during this period and equals an approximate annual return of 42%. Our top performing stock was Facebook which increased 35 percent during the competition.

The stock club and moderator Mike Gallagher discuss investing basics from Peter Lynch who ran the Fidelity Magellan mutual fund and Warren Buffet who runs Berkshire Hathaway. Some of the basic concepts include:

Spend less than you make.
Invest in the stock market through your employer’s 401(k) plan with a portion of each paycheck.
Understand each investment you make. As Peter Lynch said, you should be able to explain each investment you make to a seven year old.
Buy great businesses (stock) at a fair price and hold them for the long-term.
Try to keep investing costs low.
Diversify your investments to reduce risk.

Guest speakers this semester included Mike Wagner who works for a private money management company and Dan Casey who works for BP Amoco. Mike Wagner told the students to develop good communication skills, network, and read as much as possible about business and investing. Dan Casey spoke about how business culture differs in most every country and spoke of his international travel experiences. Both speakers suggested that the club members make the most of future opportunities and be ready when opportunities present themselves.

These same basic business concepts will be discussed at the Learn to Earn camp in June 2013 at St. Rita. The co-ed camp is for students currently in 4th through 8th grade. Last summer 95 campers earned over $31,000 and took home 75 Apple iPads. Camp instructor Mike Gallagher will invite back local business owners to St. Rita to share the keys to their success with campers.

The camp included a different speaker everyday and a walkathon in which the campers raised money toward the purchase of their iPad. Speakers ranged from Fr. Tom McCarthy to small business owners like Lynn Sapp, owner of Rainbow Cone, to Brian Jordan of the Chicago White Sox. Lynn Sapp, owner of Rainbow Cone, taught campers the value of first impressions when she shook hands with each camper and told them to make eye contact. She also gave a Rainbow Cone to each camper and played the Rainbow Cone wrap song.

The camp would not have been so successful without local business owners donating their time to come speak to campers, setting up agreements to give back funds to campers who patronized their business, or donating pizza to campers. Local businesses which generously participated were Pop’s Beef, Rosangelas, County Fair, Barracos of Evergreen Park, Potbelly on 95th & Western, the Chicago White Sox, Marquette Bank, 115 Bourbon Street, and Rainbow Cone.

Hopefully stock club members will take this experience and continue to expand their knowledge of investing over the course

of their lifetime.