Middle schoolers get taste of stock market, investing through financial literacy class

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A middle school teacher in Brooklyn, New York, is helping his students learn about the stock market and investing through a financial literacy class.

Raymond Tran, who teaches at IS 281, told FOX Business’ Gerri Willis that his students are gaining financial literacy skills by playing the “Stock Market Game.” 

“In there, students break up into groups. They have $100,000 in virtual money to buy stocks, bonds and mutual funds,” he explained.

The “Stock Market Game” was brought to Tran’s students through the SIFMA Foundation, a nonprofit that “provides financial education programs and tools that strengthen economic opportunity across communities and increase individuals’ awareness of and access to the benefits of the global marketplace,” according to its website.

More than 600,000 students play the “Stock Market Game” each year. The market simulation game dates back to the late 1970s, according to the SIFMA Foundation.

Tran’s students are also getting a feel for the financial world through the set-up of the classroom.

US HIGH SCHOOLERS WANT FINANCIAL EDUCATION, BUT MANY SCHOOLS DON’T OFFER IT: SURVEY

The classroom features standing desks and shows finance- and business-focused news. There is even a bell for students to ring to announce they have completed a stock transaction.

One student, for example, rang the bell on Friday morning for Amazon shares he “bought” in the simulation game while Willis spoke with Tran on “Varney & Co.”

A piggybank for savings in a classroom.

Before becoming a teacher, Tran worked at Ernst & Young, a major accounting firm.

“I felt like in my corporate job, I wasn’t really making a difference in people’s lives, so I sought a platform as an educator so I can teach kids and mold young minds to learn about financial literacy and investing,” he told Willis.

He said it was important for his students to learn financial literacy because “the way to really build wealth is to invest, invest, invest.”

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