By Stephanie Alderton
Times Staff Writer
Brayden Schulte is only in 10th grade, but to many of his family members and classmates, he's known as the resident stock market expert.
This year Schulte, a student at Weldon Valley School, participated in the "Stock Market Experience," a program created by the Colorado Council for Economic Education to help students in third through 12th grade understand stocks and investments. He won first place in the northeastern region's high school division, marking the second time the award has gone to a Weldon Valley student. On May 13 he'll be heading to the Denver Zoo for the official awards ceremony.
Schulte entered the contest at the suggestion of his accounting teacher, Jeff Slade, along with about 30 other students from his school. Before taking the class, he didn't know much about stocks or investments. But after his experience with the simulation, that has changed.
"I've had my aunt and uncle and grandma and grandpa come up to me and ask how they should invest their stuff," Schulte said.
Contestants in the simulation start out with $100,000 (not real money, of course) and have to invest it in stocks, futures and options based on the real-world market. They were judged based on the percentage of their original funds they gained back by the end. Schulte went up 80 percent, putting him in the top spot in his regional division.
As a result, Schulte will attend an awards ceremony on May 13 at the Denver Zoo. He'll receive a certificate of achievement and a $50 prize, which he plans to use to throw a pizza party for his class.
This was Schulte's first time competing in the contest, but it was far from the first time a Weldon Valley student has placed highly in it. Last year another student won a regional prize, and Schulte wants to help continue that streak.
"Next year I'm kind of shooting to get state," he said. "This year was a practice year, and next year it'll be all the way."
He said he's learned some valuable lessons about the stock market, like the importance of investing in futures. As for his own future, he's thinking about going into finance someday.