Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Low risk works in game as well

By Amy Higgins,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[photo] Josh Dooley likes his games and getting hits, as a center fielder on the Madeira High School team and a player in the Stock Market Game.
(Tony Jones photo)
| ZOOM |
        Josh Dooley proved that you don't have to be risky to do well in the Stock Market Game. Being conservative works, too.

        “I've had the same five stocks since the beginning,” said Josh, a Madeira High School sophomore. “Buy and hold. I thought I'd play it safe, and see if it works.”

        It appears to be working: Josh, playing the market simulation game under the team name Cha-Ching, broke into the top 15 ranked teams last week. Having turned his pretend $100,000 into $104,208 in the first six weeks, Josh placed 13th out of the more than 380 Greater Cincinnati high school teams playing the 10-week game.

        Most of his 4.2 percent gain came entirely from stock in the Panera Bread Co., which gained 19.4 percent since the game started Feb. 25 through last week.

        But that increase was offset by losing money on Blockbuster stock in the first several weeks. Blockbuster shares were down almost 6 percent through late last week.

    • School: Madeira Junior/Senior High School.
    • Teacher: Jennifer Jordan.
    • Member: Josh Dooley.
    • Portfolio: $104,207.82.
    • Six-week return: 4.21 percent.
    • Holdings: Panera Bread Co., Blockbuster Inc., Lyondell Chemical Co., Tripos Inc., Allegheny Technologies Inc.
    • Strategy: Buy and hold.
        Josh made small gains on his other three holdings: Tripos Inc., Allegheny Technologies and Lyondill Chemical Co. — a company he found by using the initials of his friend Lisa, who was sitting next to him in class as he was making his picks.

        “Panera I picked because I eat there,” said Josh, who plays center field for the Madeira baseball team and runs track. “And Blockbuster because I watch movies.”

        Several other high-ranking Stock Market Game teams made their gains by risking big — borrowing on margin and spending almost all their $200,000 ($100,000 seed money and $100,000 on margin) on one or two volatile companies.

        But Josh chose his five stocks and expects to stick with them. He didn't even spend his first $100,000.

        “Buy and hold — and see if it goes up,” he said.

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