Masters Investment Learning Center Stock Market Game

Provides Higher Learning to East Tennessee Students

Masters Investment Leanring Center

Could there be a future Warren Buffett attending school in East Tennessee? Young financial wizards will have the chance to kick off their money-making careers by participating in the 2010-2011 UT Masters Investment Learning Center Stock Market Game.

The Knoxville News Sentinel’s Newspapers in Education (NIE) program has partnered with the University of Tennessee (UT) Masters Investment Learning Center (MILC) to offer East Tennessee students the opportunity to learn money-management and investments skills. The UT MILC is taking over the stock market game for the 2010-11 academic year after the News Sentinel administered the competition in 2009-10.

“We are proud to take the lead on the UT Masters Investment Learning Center Stock Market Game for east Tennessee students,” said James W. Wansley, Clayton Homes Chair of Excellence in Finance and head of the Department of Finance at UT. “The Masters Investment Learning Center, whose naming was made possible by a generous contribution from business alum Mike Masters, is dedicated to promoting interactive education and forging partnerships that enhance financial literacy among the university, the business college, our students and the business community.”

The UT Masters Investment Learning Center Stock Market Game introduces students to the American economic and business system. Participating high school and middle school classes are placed in the Senior- and Junior-level divisions, respectively, and form teams of students who learn about making investments by buying and selling stocks as part of a mock exercise.

“This year’s program offers two new enhancements,” continued Wansley. “Before the competition begins, the Masters Investment Learning Center will host one-day educational teach-in sessions for both teachers and students to help them better understand how the stock market works, how to select a stock, manage a portfolio, etc. Plus, to enhance the realism of the game, the students will have an actual client…me. Each team will have $100,000 of ‘virtual’ money to invest based on my risk tolerance level and financial goals.”

The Faculty Advisor Teach-In was held on August 14; the two Student Teach-In sessions took place on September 11 at the Knoxville News Sentinel. The session for high school teams will be in the morning; the session for middle school teams will be in the afternoon.

“This new opportunity will offer students additional instruction and insight about stock analysis and investments theory,” said Masters ILC Project Director Brandon Belcher. “Furthermore, teams may schedule additional meetings with me to discuss these topics further and gain access to university research resources as they make trades throughout the semester.”

Having ‘virtual’ money to invest on behalf of a client adds a level of complexity and realism to the competition that it’s never had before. “It forces students to think of the investment assignments in a new way,” said Belcher, “with the human limitations or parameters that real life may present to them. The program will enable students to understand financial planning not only for their personal knowledge and use but also as a foundation to possibly pursue a higher education degree or career in finance. Our goal isn’t just to teach about buying and selling stocks; it’s for them to understand wealth creation.”

The UT Masters Investment Learning Center Stock Market Game fall semester program runs from Sept. 13-Dec. 3, 2010. The team with the most total equity at the conclusion of the 12-week program will win. Each semester, in each division, the first place team will receive $300; the second place team will receive $200; and the third place team will receive $100. The spring semester program will be offered Jan. 21 – April 21, 2011. At the end of the school year, the team that earns the most overall in both the Junior and Senior divisions will win the Grand Prize of $400 plus a year-end pizza party for the class. A year-end banquet will be held on May 6, 2011, to honor the winning teams and teachers.

“The opportunities afforded to participating schools through the Masters Investment Learning Center are invaluable,” said Angela Browning, NIE spokeswoman. “The News Sentinel is thrilled to place this program in the capable hands of the center’s staff, knowing that students in the region are going to learn, have fun and be challenged in fresh new ways.”

The University of Tennessee Masters Investment Learning Center promotes and facilitates business education and research through experiential learning and provides educational opportunities and enrichment activities for students, faculty, and the professional community. The center is a state-of-the-art facility with cutting-edge technology that enables faculty to teach investments and portfolio-management skills to students throughout the UT Knoxville campus.

The News Sentinel’s Newspapers in Education’s program provides a wealth of information to teachers, parents, and students through services such as on-line activities, teacher workshops, in-service presentations, curriculum materials and in-paper features.

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