The Millionaire’s Club, one of Mt. Hebron’s newest student-run organizations, comprises students “interested in extending [their] knowledge of finance,” according the club’s sponsor, Technology Education teacher Ms. Bernadette Bechta.
In this club, people learn about investments by playing The Stock Market Game, which was devised by Towson University and The Maryland Council for Economic Education.
The Stock Market Game simulates the process of investing in the stock market. Students have a sum of 100,000 imaginary dollars and can invest in the simulated market. As the value of the company they invested in goes up and down, students’ investments are affected, just like in the actual stock market.
Seniors Alec Vaughan and Hershal Chaddha co-founded this club after playing the Stock Market Game in Accounting I and II, classes taught by Ms. Bechta.
Vaughan and Chaddha knew they would not be able to play the Stock Market Game this year because the county does not offer any subsequent accounting classes, but these two students loved the game so much that they wanted to find a way to play it again.
“It had become such a huge part of our lives,” said Vaughan.
“Talking about money and the stock market is kind of a nerdy subject,” Chaddha admitted, “but I love it.”
Originally dubbed “The Stock Market Club,” the organization began with 36 members. But this finance-based activity was renamed “The Millionaire’s Club” after Ms. Bechta went to an information session and learned that similar clubs have formed at six other Howard County high schools.
The club now has 60 members who are taught basic and advanced investment strategies. Eight groups of students within the club are competing in regional and state competitions.
Members are also “encouraged to advance their knowledge outside of the club,” said Ms. Bechta.
This club is sponsored by the Credit Union Foundation of Maryland, which sent a representative to the club’s first meeting to give them seed money in order to pay for entry into the Stock Market Game. Some funds may also be devoted to a field trip to the New York Stock Exchange later in the year.
Ms. Bechta said the group’s ultimate goal is “to win the Millionaire’s Club trophy for the county.”
Bringing the trophy home for the county could prove challenging in the club’s inaugural year, but members are confident in their abilities.
Senior Nick Suri and juniors Sam Rice and Laura Radov are all members of the club. Each student has a unique strategy that he or she feels will guarantee victory. Many of the club’s members have prior knowledge of the stock market from courses in Accounting or Economics, but the club’s leaders are working to prepare the members even further.
“We have a guest speaker coming from University of Maryland to talk with the members and give them tips,” said Chaddha.
Students are passionate about the stock market because they have learned that it is an indicator of national events by demonstrating rises and falls in the value of stocks.
This kind of insight into the global economy could help members improve their investing skills to a very high level. Kids who start learning about the stock market early can make the choice to pursue careers in finance and invest their own money later in life.
Chaddah and Vaughan are currently looking for successors who will passionately run the club next year.