Northside Investment Club Takes Down Investment Competition to win $5,000 Grant
by Alex Perman
The Northside Investment Club recently received an impressive sum of money in the form of a grant from Magnetar Capital. The club, which meets once a week during Y-Block, focuses on financial literacy and educative learning about investing skills, such as personal finance and stock market trading. Northside had two teams which placed 1st and 4th place in the competition. The 1st place team consisted of Kim Grabiec, Adv. 902, Patryk Kertho-Wedunga, Adv. 903, Oralia Quinones, Adv. 100, Christian Sparks, Adv. 905, Ali Hashem, Adv. 904, Miguel Fernandez, Adv. 910, and Esther Huescas, Adv. 911. The 4th place team consisted of Enscar Bisevic, Adv. 005, Sander Brissman, Adv. 008, Darius Deloye, Adv. 807, Ruben Escobar, Adv. 003, Lawson Garner, Adv. 805, Charlie Guthmann Adv. 800, Jorge Orellana, Adv. 800, and Jadd Oweimrin, Adv. 803. Christian Sparks, Adv. 905, provided more information about the Northside Investment Club and its learning process.
According to Sparks, the club mainly revolves around preparation for an investment competition hosted by Magnetar, which involves investing in a simulated stock trading environment. In the “Magnetar Team Challenge,” participants are given $100,000 in fake money to invest in the stock market over an unknown six month period from a previous year and the team that shows the most profits after the time is up wins. The event took place on March 10 at Navy Pier. Prior to the simulated stock trading event, there was a trivia-style quiz that tested participants on their knowledge of financial literacy. The winner of this was given additional fake money to invest during the stock trading competition, as well as a grant of $1,500. The winner of the main event, however, was awarded a $5,000 grant to be used toward academic improvements for the team’s school. The Northside Investment Club took home the grand prize of this event and the opportunity to attend a fundraising event called the “Night Out for Financial Literacy,” featuring Chance the Rapper as the keynote speaker.
Sparks also spoke about some of his favorite parts of being a member of the Northside Investment Club and the new skills he has acquired over the course of the club. Though the club is sponsored and mostly taught by Mr. Golden, Social Science department. Students also take on leadership roles and are encouraged to collaborate on projects and assignments to further improve one another’s financial skills. Some of the key lessons that stood out to Sparks were learning how to manage a budget, understanding different types of loans, factors that influence the stock market, and how to invest properly. His favorite part was practicing in real-time paper trading and experimenting with investing in the actual stock market through hypothetical simulations.
Typically, an investment club meeting begins with the students checking how the stock market performed. Then, members practice for the competition by doing simulated investing in real time. The team also spent time learning from the Magnetar financial literacy curriculum, which was taught by Mr. Golden.
Overall, the most fun aspects of being part of the club, according to Sparks, was getting a chance to invest, predict the stock market, and look at how different companies are faring. He now knows more about how companies work and understands that anyone who is knowledgeable about the way the market functions can make money or possibly make a living off of investing.
For those interested in joining the Northside Investment Club, Sparks recommended joining at the beginning of the year in order to get a fuller understanding of the lessons leading up to the competition day. For more information on joining the investment club, please contact Christian Sparks or Mr. Golden.