News Column

SIFMA Foundation & McGraw Hill Financial Celebrate Teens' Financial Prowess on Wall Street: Honor National Winners of InvestWrite

June 26, 2014

NEW YORK, June 26 -- The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association issued the following news release:

It takes years to build up the financial savvy to navigate the markets. But Mac Bank, Marcelo Bongalon, Hannah Brawley, and Olivia Dampier are decades ahead of the game. They won distinction this year as first place national winners of the SIFMA Foundation's InvestWrite(TM) essay competition with McGraw Hill Financial.

Winners are being honored in New York City today with a Wall Street Experience that includes a visit to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, a recognition breakfast at the SIFMA Foundation headquarters, and an awards reception recognizing students and some of the 3,500 volunteer judges who ranked the thousands of essay submissions. They will also hear from S&P Capital IQ Chief Equity Strategist, Sam Stovall, author of Seven Rules of Wall Street, about his investment strategy for the second half of 2014, based on his assessment of stock market history, economic projections, fundamental forecasts, and technical trends.

The SIFMA Foundation's InvestWrite competition, launched in 2004 and 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 the 600,000 students nationwide who compete in The Stock Market Game program each year.

The four students being honored today are:

* Mac Bank, a senior at Bloomfield Hills High School, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, who claimed the top prize for the high school division in the SIFMA Foundation's Spring 2014 InvestWrite national essay competition with McGraw Hill Financial.

* Marcelo Bongalon, a sixth grader at St. Cecilia School, San Francisco, California, who claimed the top prize for the middle school division in the SIFMA Foundation's Spring 2014 InvestWrite national essay competition with McGraw Hill Financial.

* Hannah Brawley, a senior at Vestavia Hills High School, Vestavia Hills, Alabama, who claimed the top prize for the high school division in the SIFMA Foundation's Fall 2013 InvestWrite national essay competition with McGraw Hill Financial.

* Olivia Dampier, a seventh grade student at Summit Ridge Middle School, Littleton, Colorado, who claimed the top prize for the middle school division in the SIFMA Foundation's Fall 2013 InvestWrite national essay competition with McGraw Hill Financial.

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. Bank, Bongalon, Brawley and Dampier are among the 20,000 students across the nation who take the InvestWrite challenge each year.

The Fall 2013 - Spring 2014 winning InvestWrite essays were 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 the winning students on this achievement."

"SIFMA Foundation's Stock Market Game and InvestWrite are transformative programs that prepare students for college, career and life while teaching them about the capital markets," 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.

The SIFMA Foundation is dedicated to fostering knowledge and understanding of the financial markets for individuals of all backgrounds. Drawing on the support and expertise of the financial industry, the SIFMA Foundation provides financial education programs and tools that strengthen economic opportunities across communities and increase individuals' access to the benefits of the global marketplace. Notable Foundation programs include The Stock Market Game, which has enabled more than 15 million students to become financially literate, the InvestWrite(TM) national essay competition (, and the Capitol Hill Challenge. For more information on the SIFMA Foundation, visit

McGraw Hill Financial, a leading financial intelligence company, is committed to empowering people by teaching the financial essentials necessary to navigate and thrive in the world. The company has supported The Stock Market Game since 2000. The company's iconic brands include: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D. Power, and McGraw Hill Construction. The company has approximately 17,000 employees in 29 countries. Additional information is available at

[Category: Financial Services]

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Source: Targeted News Service

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