When Columbus Transition High School Economics teacher Oliver Corrigan told his classes they would be learning about the stock market, the reaction was something less than wildly enthusiastic.
“They were apprehensive,” Corrigan admitted recently. “They’d heard of the stock market and thought it was something boring that guys in suits do.”
Corrigan said the biggest challenge was in convincing students that the stock market is already a part of their lives.
“I started off having them think of industries they are interested in, like videogames and movies,” he said. “And that as younger people, they have more insight into those industries than I do or some middle-aged stock brokers.”
One student works at Taco Bel, another shops at Dollar General. With the help of computer software that allows students to monitor real-time stock prices, the students began to make the connection between successful businesses and the people who invest in those companies.
Corrigan showed students how to do research and find out which corporations own their favorite companies. For example,Taco Bell employee Daniel Sheets found that the company was owned by YUM Corporation.
“We joke about it and if the stock goes up, I say you must’ve worked the late shift,” Corrigan said.
The students formed groups of investors and began researching, picking and monitoring stock performance. For Daniel’s group, Yum has been its best performing stock. Josh Tennant bought Apple stock, he said, because he likes the company’s products.
“As soon as a new product comes out, it will jump up,” Josh said.
Drew Jackson bought Activision, a maker of videogames such as Call of Duty. He is waiting for his stock to become profitable.
“I don’t know it if will go up in the near future,” Drew said, “But it will when they announce new games coming out.”
On the day they were interviewed, Twanda Robinson, Sandarius Clickengerand Kendall Hawkins’ stock picking group had the fourth best record in central Ohio among students using the software.
Twanda said she bought Lionsgate, the production company owned by Tyler Perry “because I like Tyler Perry movies. I just think they’re funny and I like to buy and watch them.”
Sandarius said he bought Toyota and Kendall bought Sony because the company is about to have a new game system coming out.
“I bought Nike because I like the products and I have a lot of Nike clothes,” Kendall said. There’s a lot of people who like Nike.”
Jeremiah Williams said he bought Kroger stock.
“Me and my mom shop at Krogers, so why not?” he said. “They have big stores, huge variety and the people there are really friendly.”
Tyler Honaker said he encouraged his group to buy Microsoft. “I should have bought Microsoft before they came out with Kinect, the little camera you put with your Xbox and dance around. Also, I bought the company because it is American.”
Vincent Webb chose to buy Ford stock.
“I was surprised how much the stock cost,” he said. “It is a good company and the cars are well made.”