Chelsea Lautigar, a student at Forest Lake High School, is Minnesota’s first-place winner in the InvestWrite student essay competition.
Sponsored by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association foundation, the essay is the culminating activity for the annual Stock Market Game, in which students invest a hypothetical $100,000 in an on-line portfolio.
Students in grades 4 through 12 analyze an investment scenario and write an essay offering investment advice. They consider real-world economic events and trends, conduct research online and develop investment recommendations.
Lautigar claimed the top prize in Minnesota’s high school division for the fall 2012 competition. She participated in the stock market game and submitted her essay in Alan Anderson’s personal money management class.
The stock market game has 600,000 participants each year, and 20,000 students take the InvestWrite challenge.
In her essay, Lautigar examined the differences between the Coca-Cola Company and Pepsico that affect their relative stock prices. She also discussed how current events could shape each company’s future success.
“She wrote on how Michelle Obama’s initiative for more healthy eating and school lunches affected the stock prices and profit of the Pepsi and Coke soft drink companies,” Anderson said.
The essay was judged by teachers and industry professionals who evaluated the student’s analysis of asset allocation, overall understanding of the stock market and expression of ideas.
Anderson and Lautigar were recognized at an awards ceremony on May 22 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center.
The stock market game and InvestWrite are offered in Minnesota by BestPrep, a Minnesota nonprofit whose mission is to prepare students with business, career and financial literacy skills.
An independent study by Learning Point Associates found that students who participated in the game scored significantly higher on mathematics and financial literacy tests than their peers who did not participate. The game has been named the only program that successfully increased scores on the Jumpstart Coalition’s test of high school students’ financial literacy.