Stock market club to compete at investing

By Eli Haims

After receiving questions about the stock market and investing in his AP Economics classes, math teacher Kent Nealis decided to start a club devoted to the stock market with Graham Gallaher ’11.

After going to a summer program at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Gallaher became interested in investing.

“I got interested all of a sudden and Mr. Nealis proposed the idea and I thought it would be perfect,” Gallaher said.

Nealis doesn’t think he will be able to teach students all he wants to during the Monday activities period, so he plans to meet after school. He hopes to enter the club into competitions, where they would compete against other schools to see who could make the most profitable portfolio, in addition to the students gaining a better understanding of the concepts. He also said that they will compare how well a portfolio of stocks that they research does compared to a portfolio of randomly chosen stocks.

Gallaher hopes that the club will help students “be more aware of their options and their financial aid. It will help them figure out all the different ways they can invest, pitfalls and the potential benefits.”

“It should be pretty challenging because this is not the typical economic environment, starting a stock marking club at the end of a recession … but that’s the real world,” Nealis said.

Nealis says that students who are not taking AP Economics will not have any problems understanding the topics that he teaches, but people in economics will see connections between the two.

Gallaher hopes to invite speakers come to teach students in addition to participating competitions.

“It depends on how big the club gets, everyone from investment bankers to foreign exchange. Anyone who can talk about their specific fields better than I can,” Gallaher said.