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LAST MONTH, the Townsend Harris community welcomed the Investment Club to its roster of extracurricular activities. Its mission is to educate members about the intricacies of the stock market and business world, mastering the art of financial literacy in the process.
Club founder and junior Benjamin Chang explained that “The mission of the Townsend Harris Investment Club is to promote wise money management among members, in ways such as investments in the stock market, through hands-on competitions and presentations. Members will learn the basics in investing, as well as investment strategies and money management skills, which are essential when students incur debt from student loans, or get their first paycheck.” Benjamin thinks that “investing one’s money is an invaluable skill that many adults don’t possess today.”
The Investment Club meets on Thursdays in Room 514, where members put their skills to the test by competing amongst each other as well as other high school students across the nation through simulated stock market games.
Students also present companies to the club that they believe are worthy of their investment, explain their perspective, and advise the group how best to invest in that company. Members additionally participate in group discussions on Facebook about ongoing market trends and news.
In addition to Benjamin’s interest in the financial world, stemming largely from his father’s occupation, he was encouraged to start the club because of “the recent news of Stuyvesant’s investment club and scandal, and a heightened popularity in the issue.”
He continued, “I figured that many students would be interested in money and investing, so I took the initiative in starting the club.”
Social studies teacher Alex Wood is the new club’s advisor. Although Mr. Wood has no professional experience in finance, his knowledge of the financial world comes through teaching an economics class to seniors. He believes that, “One of the powerful things of investing is that the earlier you start, the more powerful your investment becomes.” He encourages students to join the club and learn the basics of this vital skill.
Freshman Noah Sadik attended the first few club meetings and commented, “It was fun, yet very professional and educational. Mr. Wood is doing a great job explaining the stock market and seems very enthusiastic leading the club.”
Although the Investment Club is new to the school, members are in the process of formulating teams for the Capitol Hill Challenge, a fourteen-week stock market simulation and investment competition, which they intend to enter. Each team is given $100,000 virtual dollars to invest in the stock market, and the winning team is sent to Washington, D.C. to meet members of Congress.