Seniors in CPA’s Economics classes are challenged to look past their upper school career to a lifetime of financial management and stewardship. As part of the class, students participate in an investment project in which they are allocated a virtual amount of money to invest in a mock portfolio.
The project teaches the basic fundamentals of a top-down approach to investing by looking at macro and micro trends in the market, analyzing which sectors and industries perform well during certain phases of the business cycle, and building an understanding of the benefits of diversification in their portfolio. The students are placed in teams of 8-10 members in which they must buy and hold at least three companies. Their objective is to outperform the S&P 500 during the semester.
This year, instead of a mock portfolio, students are investing real money.
This change began as an initiative presented by Grant Speer, CPA graduate of 2020. Grant met with school leadership and presented a written plan to fund the portfolio with real money to emphasize the importance of early investing for future financial success.
“The forward thinking that Grant had to create the plan to take our virtual portfolio and put that practice into a real portfolio shows his maturity,” explained Economics Instructor Kevin Maggard, “Understanding the principle of early investing can help students embrace the basic fundamentals of investing they will need later in life. Grant demonstrated remarkable insight for his age.”
Grant’s proposal became a reality with the gift from a donor in the CPA community eager to support the students in this endeavor.
Before making portfolio selections, students heard from guest speakers, including CPA alumni Jordan Baker ’15, Jacob Brown ’15, and Grayson Davis ’16, who shared expertise from their current professions in finance.
Growth and future earnings from the investment portfolio will allow for the continuation of this program as well as program expansion of The Institute for Cultural Engagement (TICE) and other opportunities for student development and growth.
“At the heart of my curriculum lies the understanding that we are commanded to be good stewards of the resources that God has given us. It’s not our money, it’s His,” explains Maggard.
If you would like to learn more about this program or how to financially support future classes, please contact Kevin Maggard at firstname.lastname@example.org.