Investing Activities

INTERACTIVE: Stock Prices & Industries in the S&P 500

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Analyze the performance of the S&P 500, a popular index fund
  • Compare stock prices across and within industries
  • Correlate trends in the industry with trends in the market

INTERACTIVE: Would You Trust a Robot to Make Investment Decisions?

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Assess the advantages and disadvantages of using robo-advising to invest
  • Determine whether the portfolio chosen for them fits their needs
  • Discuss whether they would use robo-investing in their own life.

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

INTERACTIVE: Think You Can Pick Stocks?

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Take on the role of an investor to try to pick successful stocks based on different criteria
  • Observe and analyze the result of their choices over 10 years
  • Compare their stock choices to an index fund, the S&P 500

ROLEPLAY: 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.

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.

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

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

ANALYZE: A Bond Fund

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Review the Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund Investor Shares report, interpret the data, and answer questions to help them understand how a bond fund works.

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

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.

ANALYZE: What's the S&P 500?

In this activity, students will be able to: 

  • Use an online interactive to investigate what stocks and industries comprise an index fund
  • Analyze the returns of the S&P 500
  • Grasp the idea of diversification

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: 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: IPO Values

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Use IPO price and current price to assess the current value of three different late ’90s IPO stocks to try to determine whether buying during an IPO is a good investment strategy.

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: 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

EXCEL: Asset Allocation

In this activity, students will:

  • Use Yahoo! Finance and a predesigned Google Spreadsheet to explore asset allocation using index funds.

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.

READ: 10 Facts About Bonds

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Complete a introductory article about bonds.
  • Synthesize the information into 10 easy-to-understand core facts.

RESEARCH: IPO Web Quest

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Complete online research to decide whether Initial Public Offerings are a sound investment approach.

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

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.

INVESTIGATE: Millionaire or Not?

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Study the “facts” presented by a self-proclaimed self-made millionaire and then do their own analysis to determine that the story can’t possibly be true.

INVESTIGATE: High Schooler Earns $72M?

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Analyze a news story about a high school millionaire and identify the “facts” of the case.
  • Use their financial knowledge to analyze the “facts” and suggest potential inaccuracies to the author, using evidence to explain their beliefs.

INVESTIGATE: 401(k) Missing Millions

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Make assumptions and do some calculations to determine how much Boeing employees are leaving on the table by not taking full advantage of their 401(k) plan.