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Students Learn Financial Literacy By Trading Mock Stocks In Stamford Event

AITE Senior Daniel Ruskin works with a trader during a trading simulation in Stamford on Thursday.
AITE Senior Daniel Ruskin works with a trader during a trading simulation in Stamford on Thursday. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky

STAMFORD, Conn. — Academy of Information Technology senior Daniel Ruskin has some simple advice for investors: You want to buy low and sell high — at just the right time.

Ruskin had made a “bunch” of money on Dutch Oil only to lose some on RBC, two stocks available for students to trade in a mock stock market challenge offered by Junior Achievement of Southwest Connecticut in Stamford on Thursday.

Such is life in the day of a stock market trader during often volatile markets.

“This event really drives home what would happen on the floor of the exchange,” said Ray Milo, Ruskins’ teacher. Much like real traders, students in Thursday’s exercise had to pay attention to the news, market swings and the states of different industries, he said.

The event was sponsored by local companies, including Stamford-based Patriot Bank, which had teams from the Academy of Information Technology & Engineering and King.

Patriot CEO Ken Neilson said the event helps educate students on the basics of financial literacy. “We think this is an important event in teaching young people how the stock market works, how to invest and it prepares for their future life,” he said.

During the event, students in teams of four traded $500,000 of virtual cash. Team names included humorous business references, including “If This Was Golf, We Would Win” and “Team Enron.”

Students moved around the lively floor of the Italian Center, reading press releases, strategizing with teammates and making trades to an upbeat playlist that included energetic songs from One Direction and Pharrell Williams.

The mock trades were instantaneously projected to three large screens, which also displayed stock prices, stock performance graphs and team rankings.

A King School team took home first in the competition, followed a team from New Canaan High School with second place and a team from Academy of Information Technology in third place.

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