If You're Losing Money In Stocks You're Dumber Than A Fifth Grader

To win a state contest, four Wisconsin fifth graders took a hypothetical $100,000 and more than doubled it in 10 weeks, according to an AP story. The kids focused on financial stocks, which they correctly figured had bottomed out. Out of the 15 stocks they fantasy-invested in, 13 were profitable, the biggest winners being Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan. The kids won a trip to the New York Stock Exchange, where they were surely viewed with utter exasperation.

Tim Hopfensperger, a teacher at the school and adviser to the young investors, also had teams finish second and fourth in the competition, which is sponsored by the nonprofit EconomicsWisconsin.

“I am really pleased,” Hopfensperger said. “I am waiting to see what they will do in the future. A number of them will get involved in the financial industry.”

About 1,450 teams competed, most consisting of high-school students. But Hopfensperger’s elementary-school teams traditionally hold their own, including last year’s team that also finished first. Since 2001, Hopfensperger has had seven teams finish in the top three.

Since the article lists Hopfensperger’s occupation as “teacher” rather than “former teacher,” it’s probable that he didn’t take his kids’ stock tips to the bank. Which is just as well, because now that these victorious tykes are all cocky, there’s no doubt they’ll be like Zack Morris in Saved by the Bell and lose their Lunchables by buying junk stocks on the margin.

Show me the money: Wis. 5th-graders pick winners [Associated Press, via Chicago Tribune]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.