Investing Activities

INTERACTIVE: Invest with STAX!

In this activity, students will:

  • Make over 40 investment decisions as they allocate their savings between a multitude of investment options
  • Receive short in-game lessons explaining the details of the specific investment
  • Practice diversifying their portfolio to yield the highest return

INTERACTIVE: What's the S&P 500?

In this activity, students will be able to: 

  • Use an online interactive to investigate what stocks and industries make up the S&P 500
  • Analyze the returns of the S&P 500
  • Grasp the idea of diversification and the value of investing in index funds 

INTERACTIVE: Get Rich with Tech IPOs

In this activity students will be able to: 

  • Try to time the market on the Initial Public Offering (IPO) for 7 well-known tech companies using an online simulation
  • Calculate their return on investment if they sold their shares today
  • Decide whether they think investing in IPOs is a sound investment strategy

INTERACTIVE: Think You Can Beat the Stock Market? (Sp)

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Test different trading strategies
  • Learn how difficult it is to time the market
  • Reflect on what mix of index funds and bonds fits their risk tolerance

ANALYZE: Investing for Retirement

In this activity students will be able to: 

  • Analyze the data in 3 different types of graphs 
  • Explain the importance of investing early for retirement 
  • Understand the power of compound interest over time 

ANALYZE: Understanding Inflation (Sp)

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Use an inflation calculator to think about the relationship between interest and inflation.
  • Learn why long term saving might not be enough for large purchases in the distant future.
  • Available in English & Spanish

ANALYZE: The Value of Dividends

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Read and analyze data charts about the reinvestment of dividends.
  • Learn how this can be a valuable investment strategy.

CALCULATE: Compound Interest (Sp)

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Use an online compound interest calculator to explore the value of time when investing.
  • Available in English & Spanish

CALCULATE: Investment Fees

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Use online calculators to investigate the investor fees associated with actively managed mutual funds and passively managed index funds and the impact these fees have on profit.

CALCULATE: Rate of Return

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Use Yahoo! Finance to look up stock prices for two popular companies.
  • Practice calculating and thinking critically about rate of return.

CALCULATE: What If You Invested That Latte?

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Choose an item they regularly purchase and investigate what would happen if they cut out that expense, saved that money, and invested it for retirement.

CALCULATE: Your Retirement Savings Goal (Sp)

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Use an online retirement calculator to explore the relationship between time horizon, income, and savings rate on an individual’s retirement savings goals.
  • Available in English & Spanish

CARTOONS: Timing the Market

In this activity, students will be able to: 

  • Examine a number of cartoons about timing the market and choose one to analyze in more depth
  • Explain the cartoon's key message about timing the market and how it depicts that message

COMPARE: Select a Brokerage Account (Sp)

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Determine what features they value in a brokerage account and then conduct online research to determine which accounts best meet their needs.
  • Compare and then select which brokerage account would be best for them.
  • Available in English & Spanish

COMPARE: Types of Retirement Accounts (Sp)

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Learn about pensions, IRAs, Roth IRAs, and 401(k) plans
  • And will be able to determine distinguishing features of each.
  • Available in English & Spanish

EXCEL: Dollar Cost Averaging in Action

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Walk step-by-step through an example of how dollar cost averaging works
  • Conduct online research of historical stock prices
  • And use a spreadsheet to examine effects of dollar cost averaging.

FINE PRINT: Mutual Fund Fact Sheet

With this activity students will be able to:

  • Read a mutual fund fact sheet
  • Understand the most important elements on the fact sheet, including fund description, fees, performance and composition

FINE PRINT: Bond Fund Fact Sheet

With this activity students will be able to:

  • Understand how to read a bond market index fund fact sheet from Vanguard
  • Identify important elements of a bond, such as level of risk, expense ratio, and interest rates

MOVE: Let's Make a Mutual Fund

In this whole-class activity, each student receives a card representing a company in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Through a series of 5 rounds, students will:

  • Combine with other companies
  • Assess risk and return along the way
  • Eventually create an index fund comprised of the Dow.

MOVE: Organize A Stock Market Index

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Learn about the structure of a popular index composed of the largest companies in the U.S. -- the S&P 500
  • Apply their knowledge of index funds through a fun, out-of-their-seats, whole-class challenge

 

PLAY: How Estimating The Contents of a Jar Is Like the Stock Market

In this activity, students will:

  • Hypothesize how many items are in the jar and collaborate with classmates on strategies
  • Analyze averages and compare to the actual value
  • Explore behavioral finance in a fun and engaging activity

PLAY: Roll with the Market

This fun and easy-to-implement game elicits various emotions we feel when we gain, lose, or miss out on investment opportunities and brings to light the psychology behind some of the investment decisions we make.

PROJECT: 5 Stocks on Your Birthday (Sp)

In this Common Core aligned project students look up historical stock prices on Yahoo! Finance and create charts and graphs using spreadsheets to compare the yearly values and return on investment (ROI). They write a final report on which stock would be the best option.

  • Available in English & Spanish

PROJECT: Build Your Portfolio

In this Common Core aligned project students work in teams and design an investment portfolio appropriate for a 23-year-old. They conduct online research and present their portfolio either as a written report or a slideshow presentation. They use investment strategies learned in this lesson/unit.

PROJECT: Joining the Market (Sp)

In this Common Core aligned project students decide whether to buy, sell, or hold stocks from Ravioli Den. They experience how current events shape the market and calculate their portfolio value after each round. There are opportunities for discussion and reflection.

  • Available in English & Spanish

PROJECT: Envision Your Retirement

In this Common Core aligned project students utilize online retirement calculators to determine their monthly income and then do a complete budget to see what retirement looks like for them. They compare with peers who planned better/worse than they did to reflect on retirement savings.

PROJECT: Should Municipal Bonds Fund Stadiums?

In this Common Core Standards-aligned project, students will conduct research on both sides of the topic and write a persuasive response to the question: Should municipal bonds be used to fund sports stadiums? They use their research to conduct a classroom debate with their peers.

PROJECT: Why Don’t People Invest?

In this Common Core aligned project, students read articles about Americans not investing in the market, develop interview questions to ask their acquaintances, and then write their own article about their findings.

READ: 25 Investing Basics

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Read an article of 25 things to know about investing and categorize the items based on their prior knowledge.
  • Exchange knowledge with a partner to further the learning.

READ: What Does It Mean to Own Stock? (Sp)

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Read an article about what it means to own stock.
  • Do minor calculations to accompany their work.
  • Available in English & Spanish

RESEARCH: Retirement Basics Web Quest

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Conduct research on the internet to answer basic questions about retirement age, Social Security, and pension programs.

ROLEPLAY: Sign up for a 401(k) (Sp)

In this activity, students will:

  • Complete a mock 401(k) enrollment form
  • Decide how much of their pay to invest
  • What funds to choose for their portfolio.