By Hadia Chaudhry
Students in the Global Business and Finance (GBF) program won seventh place in this year’s Capitol Hill Challenge. As part of the top ten, they earned a trip to Washington D.C. from June 12 to 14. The trip was organized by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Foundation (SIFMA), which works to bring knowledge and understanding of financial markets to all students. SIFMA hosts the event annually.
The Capitol Hill Challenge (CHC) took place from February 5 to May 11. This year, a total of 3,500 teams took part. It is a competition involving a stock market simulation game in which students create a stock market portfolio worth $100,000. Students invest in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds through this portfolio. In order to participate, Granada Hills Charter (GHC) as well as ten other schools worked with local member of Congress.
Seniors Dakota Edison, Sol Jung, and Jenna Reisgen along with juniors Victoria Roberto and Rachel Schachter participated on behalf of GHC.
Their team earned 15.2 percent in returns over the course of the 3 months, which is equivalent to a 76 percent annual return on the stock market. However, managing the stocks was not a simple task.
“We learned most of the materials in our business statistics class, so it wasn’t as difficult to manage the portfolio. But it was stressful due to the amount of pressure riding on just six stocks. I even fainted during our last moments of choosing our stocks before the stocks rose back up again,” Jung, the team captain, said.
The team had their ups and downs throughout the challenge, causing stress, but Edison, the DECA president at GHC, found the whole process to be exhilarating.
“I found it fun to look at how the portfolio was doing. This did bring a lot of stress because I saw our team go from the top 10 to the bottom 3000 multiple times with seemingly little explanation. The most difficult thing, however, was dealing with that and realizing how much this was out of my control. I can’t make the market do anything,” Edison said.
Their work and stress paid off and the team went off to Washington, D.C in order to participate in an award ceremony and many banquets. They even had the opportunity to meet with Congressman Brad Sherman as well as numerous financial advisors and stockbrokers from companies such as Charles Schwab, Morgan Stanley, and SIFMA.
“I was very proud of our students for being so remarkable and taking the challenge seriously and acting maturely,” GBF English teacher Barbara Kellogg said. Kellogg was one of the chaperones for the Washington D.C. trip.
All five team members recommend that, given the opportunity, students should participate in the Capitol Hill Challenge. Despite the stress, the experience, lessons learned, and skills acquired made the challenge enjoyable. and memorable for the students.