Fourth Annual Financial Literacy Course

These experts from the Capital Group Companies help students from University Prep Value and Central City Value understand basic economics and develop financial literacy skills.

Each board member focused lessons around their specialty: Mr. Gonzales on fixed income with lessons on debt, interest rates, and bonds; Mr. Garcia on global investment with a focus on macro and global concepts; and Mr. Cambridge on foundational concepts of supply and demand, risk vs. reward, the power of compounding interest, and basic investment vocabulary.

The classes and final exam “stock pitch” all took place over Zoom

The course covers everything from the workings of the global economy and the function of the various world financial markets to simple life-impacting principles of personal finance. Students develop a firm grasp of financial principles in the community, home, and marketplace—one more very important way in which they are equipped to make a difference. Hands-on instruction includes individual and group projects and the development of a personal balance sheet, college-life budget, and financial planning.

“Everyone should understand the importance of long-term savings and the powerful math behind compound interest,” said Mr. Cambridge. “The students should also take investing seriously; it is not gambling or a game. It is the pursuit of a better life with greater financial flexibility. It is never too early to start saving and investing for the long term.”

Josue and Chanel presentingThroughout the session, students are encouraged to put what they’ve learned into action. They are each given $100,000 in simulated investment capital to invest in any companies they desire. Those who come out ahead at term’s end win a prize. After six lessons, the students break down into small teams and select a company in the S&P500 to analyze and present to judges.

Chanel and Josue, students at Central City Value, both felt they learned quite a bit about stocks, the markets and investing. But they also learned about what it might be like to be daily investors in the stock market.

“The classes happened during the Game Stop fiasco, and that helped me get a better understanding of how markets work and why something like that would happen,” recalls Josue. “And I know the game was a simulation, but there were times when the stocks went up and down, and I had invested $100,000, and it was actually really stressful. I still think about it.”

Like so many other experiences this year, the pandemic changed how our students engaged. The classes and final exam “stock pitch” all took place over Zoom, and although each class had to be a little shorter, Mr. Cambridge said, “The presentations were highly polished and professional, and the students demonstrated a significant level of interest, passion and knowledge. Although we missed holding the final presentations in one of the beautiful conference rooms at Capital Group, I thought the presentations were better this year than all previous years.”

Value Schools is proud of our participating students, and grateful to our generous board members who shared their time and expertise with our community. Well done!