Investment club surpasses simulation, begins monetary trade on stock market

Jacob Brase | Staff Writer

This time, if you lose, there is no reset button.

Students at Mason High School have begun purchasing real stocks with real money.

The MHS Investment Club is a place for students to learn how the stock market works, discuss strategy, and simulate trading stocks. The club uses a simulation game where students compete to see who can make the most money. Although the simulation is almost exactly the real stock market, most end up taking significantly larger risks on the virtual market.

Some students at MHS have looked beyond simulations, and have started trading on the real stock market.

Senior Vishu Namburi, who is now President of the Investment Club, has been trading stocks since he was 10 years old. After hearing a financial advisor talk to his fifth grade class, Namburi realized he could start trading stocks right then. He then asked his parents about what he could do, and they gave him a small sum of money to manage. Namburi learned as he went, doing extensive research in his free time and pitching investment ideas to his parents.

Penny stocks are shares of small public companies that are usually left to the experts due to their high risk and unpredictability. At the time, Namburi was only 10 years old, and he was not aware of the risk.

“Right away, I got really interested in penny stocks, but I lost almost everything I had there,” Namburi said. “I was super inexperienced at the time, and I didn’t know what to do. Eventually I moved on; I realized those stocks weren’t what I should spend my time on, and I moved on.”

Everyday after school, Namburi spends hours studying and researching stock market trends. Most students at MHS have a regular job where they go to work for a certain number of hours a week, and eventually get a paycheck in the mail later that month.

Namburi said the benefits of the stock markets is unique comparison to ways of making money.

“When you’re trading stocks, you can see the fruits of your labor right in front of you when you’re making money; you’re making real money,” Namburi said.

After taking Banking and Investments, senior Brady Neal was interested in trading real stocks on the market. The class runs a similar simulation to that of the Investment club, and the simulation left a positive impression on him. Neal then spoke with a financial advisor who assisted him in setting up a trading account.

After performing well in stock market simulations in this class, Neal said he was surprised to see did not do as well on the real market.

“I lost almost half my money in that right away, and I became aware of how real the risk is,” Neal said. “In a simulation, you’re thinking, ‘It’s not real money, it doesn’t really matter,’ but when it’s real money, you kind of feel it more.”

As he continued to trade, Neal was able to learn and adapt to his circumstances on the market. For most people, trading on the stock market is a skill they save for later on in life; however, students are applying their market knowledge today and do not look to slow down anytime soon.

For Neal, his experience on the market is invaluable and will give him an advantage over others in the future.

“It helps me get exposed to real life stuff right now,” Neal said. “Being able to apply that knowledge later on is huge.”