Anirudh Lahiri, a fifth grade student at Millikin Basics+ Elementary School placed first in California and seventh in the nation in the national InvestWrite competition, sponsored by Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.
Jim Keene, vice president of the Bay Area Financial Education Foundation and a member of the Atherton Consulting Group, joined Millikin Principal Melba Rhodes-Stanford and Conrad Herrmann, from Franklin Templeton, in awarding Lahiri a trophy, certificate, and $200 American Express gift card on March 13.
Over 8,000 students submitted essays, about 3,000 made the first cut and 684 made it to the final judging.
Students were posed the question of a young girl with a full piggy bank who wanted suggestions on the best way to invest her funds. Students used the information they learned in the after-school Stock Market Game class to arrive at their conclusions.
“I told her she was young enough to take risks, so she should invest 70 percent of her money in stocks and put the rest in bonds or securities,” Lahiri told his classmates at a surprise awards ceremony.
“Since banks don’t pay very good interest rates on savings accounts I thought it would be better not to put very much there,” he concluded.
He was asked to identify high performance stocks and bonds and give examples on their earnings to support his investment strategies.
“Based on historical returns, if you would have held Intel for a one-year period, the return was 44 percent and holding it for three years would have made you 54 percent. Buying a company’s stock provides them cash that they use to develop new products and grow,” Lahiri wrote.
“Another example of a high performing stock is Applied Materials. It is a well-established and stable company in a growing semiconductor industry. The five-year returns were 15 percent and it has promising growth ahead,” he concluded.
Students were asked to not only apply what they learned in class, but to do additional research, crediting their information sources.
Also recognized during the ceremony were Lahiri’s teacher Patricia Susnitzky and Ann Fleischer who teaches the after school Stock Market Game class. Both teachers were awarded $100 gift cards.