INTERACTIVE: Think you can time the stock market?

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Oct 06, 2021
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Interactive, Investing

The evolution of FinTech has led to day trading gamification apps such as Robinhood that are available to 18-year-olds. Some students confuse investing and day trading, without realizing the consequences of their decisions. With phones in their hands and day trading apps at their fingertips, we need to work to help students make informed decisions. Teachers have told us time and time again how important it is that we continue to provide or suggest engaging resources to do just that, and the interactive Learn Play Invest is my favorite interactive to use to illustrate to students why time in the market is more effective than timing the market. 

Players will invest $1,000, follow the market, and decide whether to "stay" or "sell". The game follows the actual S&P 500 market over a 20 year period of time and students will get a different 20 year period every time they play. 

Questions for your students after playing:

  • What emotions did you experience as you were playing the game? 
  • How did you decide whether to sell or stay invested? 
  • How did you do compared to the market? 
  • After playing the game, do you think it's easy/difficult to time the market (know when to get in/get out)? 

Supplementary resources to complement this game: 

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Do you want to learn more yourself? Consider taking a few of our FREE On Demands such as Kiddie IRAs, The Psychology of the GameStop Frenzy, Novice Investor Pitfalls, and Investing For Beginners.

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Like to teach using interactives? We have a comprehensive library of Interactives resources with worksheets.

About the Authors

Brian Page

Making a difference in the lives of students through financial capability is Brian’s greatest passion. He comes to NGPF after fifteen years of public school teaching where he was the ‘11 Ohio Department of Education recipient of a Milken National Educator Award, the CEE Forbes Award winner, and a Money Magazine/CNN "Money Hero". He served on the working group for President Obama's Advisory Council on Financial Capability. He has private school experience as a Trustee for the Cincinnati Country Day School and was a past Ohio Jump$tart President. Brian holds a BBA and M.Ed. When Brian isn’t working alongside his NGPF teammates he is likely spending time with his wife, three children, and dog; hiking, or watching Ohio State football.

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.