Thomas (TJ) Brosnan and Memorial School fifth grade teacher Valerie Burns were recognized by the SIFMA Foundation at a surprise presentation in front of the students and faculty of Memorial Elementary School in Burlington this morning. Congratulations to Thomas and Mrs. Burns on this prestigious recognition! Please see the Press Release and the award winning essay that Thomas wrote below.
SIFMA Foundation, McGraw Hill Financial Announce
Massachusetts State Winner of InvestWrite® Competition
Capital Markets Expert is a Burlington Fifth Grader!
- Thomas Brosnan of Memorial Elementary School, Burlington, MA wins state distinction in the SIFMA Foundation’s InvestWrite® essay competition with McGraw Hill Financial.
- InvestWrite, made possible in 2013 and 2014 by McGraw Hill Financial, challenges 4th – 12th graders to analyze investments and recommend portfolio allocations targeting financial goals.
- Thomas Brosnan is among 20,000 students nationwide who take the InvestWrite challenge each year, developing the personal financial savvy needed to make real-world financial decisions.
- Brosnan and teacher Valerie Burns will be recognized at an event at Memorial Elementary School on June 10, 2014.
Burlington, MA, June 10, 2014 – It takes years to build up the financial savvy to navigate the markets. But Thomas Brosnan is decades ahead of the game, having just won distinction as the first place Massachusetts state winner in the SIFMA Foundation’s InvestWrite® essay competition with McGraw Hill Financial. Brosnan, in fifth grade at Memorial Elementary School, Burlington, MA claims this recognition in the elementary school division in the Spring 2014 competition. In addition, Brosnan ranked eighth place nationally.
The SIFMA Foundation’s InvestWrite competition, launched in 2004 is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The program, made possible in 2013 and 2014 by McGraw Hill Financial, challenges 4th – 12th grade students to analyze an investment scenario and recommend portfolio allocations targeting short- and long-term financial goals. The competition serves as a culminating activity for nearly 600,000 students nationwide who compete in The Stock Market Game™ program each year.
InvestWrite invites students to develop the personal financial savvy needed to make real-world financial decisions with confidence and a deeper understanding of opportunities, consequences, and benefits. Students consider real-world economic events and trends, conduct research online, develop investment recommendations and, in the process, gain the skills to prepare for their own financial future. They work in groups during the Stock Market Game program but then write essays individually about their experience. Brosnan is one of 20,000 students across the nation who take the InvestWrite challenge each year. Winning InvestWrite essays are chosen through rigorous judging by thousands of teachers and industry professionals who evaluate students’ understanding of asset allocation, the stock market, and factors that drive investments as well as their expression of investment ideas in essay form.
“Teaching students at a very young age the basics of finance and the stock market is essential to their broad education and to being well-informed investors later in life,” said Douglas L. Peterson, President and Chief Executive Officer of McGraw Hill Financial. “As financial markets become more complex and more global, investors of all ages can benefit from learning how to save, spend and earn money wisely – what we call ‘financial essentials.’ We are delighted to support the SIFMA Foundation and congratulate Thomas on this achievement.”
“SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game and InvestWrite are transformative programs that prepare students like Thomas Brosnan for college, career and life while teaching them about the capital market,” said Melanie Mortimer, Executive Director of the SIFMA Foundation. “Our students do measurably better on math, economics and personal finance tests. They also learn to work in teams, manage change, monitor and analyze the impact of global business and economic activity, and become smart consumers. We are proud to partner with McGraw Hill Financial and applaud their longstanding commitment to providing young people a better understanding of the capital markets and a better future.”
The SIFMA Foundation’s InvestWrite competition bridges classroom learning in mathematics, social studies, language arts, business and economics with the practical research and knowledge required for long-term personal financial planning. Students are, in fact, building on what they have learned through their participation in the Stock Market Game, which has reached more than 15 million students since its inception in 1977.
An independent study by Learning Point Associates found that students who participated in the Stock Market Game scored significantly higher on mathematics and financial literacy tests than their peers who did not participate. They also found that teachers who taught the Stock Market Game reported that the program motivated them to better plan for their own financial futures. The Stock Market Game has been named the only program that successfully increased scores on the Jumpstart Coalition’s test of high school students’ financial literacy.
Brosnan is an avid reader and enjoys football, basketball and golf. He is a Pop Warner “Little Scholars” award recipient and the oldest of four children. Valerie Burns, Brosnan’s teacher, has been teaching for 11 years. This was the first year her students participated in The Stock Market Game and InvestWrite competitions.
Brosnan and Burns were recognized by the SIFMA Foundation at a surprise presentation in front of the students and faculty of Memorial Elementary School in Burlington this morning.
Thomas Brosnan’s Winning Essay:
Stalking the Stock “Hello, and welcome to Guess My Stock. I’m your host, Stanley Stocker. Say hello to our contestants Judie and Edward. The rules are simple. Each of you will be allowed to use a laptop computer and guess the stock I am thinking of. I will tell you what I like about this stock, about the company, the company’s plans for the future, where I think the stock will be what will be different in the company then, and why I think those changes will take place. You, on the other hand, will have to name the stock I am thinking of and its ticker symbol. You will be given two minutes to complete this task. Remember, your only resource is Market Watch, because that is where I get my information. I will tell you a stock I like in my portfolio that is extremely hard to guess. The first-place winner will get 100 shares of Amazon and a $200 gift card for Amazon’s online retail store.”
“Here are your laptop computers I promised you, and no, Edward, you do not get to keep them. Let’s get started.”
“OK, here is my stock. The stock that I chose has 648 stores worldwide. They operate those stores in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan and Australia. They have great prices, but they also have a lot of profit. In the last fiscal year, they returned nearly four billion dollars to shareholders. Also, in fiscal year 2014 so far, they have already opened fifteen new stores worldwide. The company sells household items, such as cleaning supplies, food and toys. The company also sells drinks, books, electronics and kitchen appliances. I like this company because their stock is slowly, but surely, rising. Plus, it is one of my favorite stores.”
“They also have products that everyone needs, and all the stock market experts agree. News about the stock says it is a stock to watch. Future plans for this company are that they will use some of their profit to fix stores and build new stores. Another thing they will use their profit for it to get more modern technology.”
“I think the company’s stock will more than double in 10 years because I think that they will have new items to sell and (here is a hint for you) the company will let everyone in, even people who are not members. I think those changes will take place because the company will allow non-members to buy items in their stores and increase the price for them. People are always trying to make something better, and they usually do. When/if the company changes in that way, I think a lot more people would choose this company’s stores over other rival stores, and that they will get a lot more money than they have now. If you are looking for a long term investment, you should get this stock. What stock am I thinking of?”
“Costco! The ticker symbol is COST”
“Correct! Folks, we have a winner, Judie, from Michigan State University! Thank you for watching, and remember, keep stalking that stock!”