Beyond the Bell: Investing More than Time

Beyond the Bell Graphic
Beyond the Bell: Investing More than Time
Posted on 05/08/2018
Authored by Mary Berquist

Planning out what to do with $100,000 probably is not a challenge for many teenagers. In fact, it is highly likely that most would have the entire lot spent on fancy things and traveling. This, however, is not the case for the Stephen Decatur High School After School Academy Investment Club members.

Throughout the year, students in business teacher Kurt Marx’s after school economic program sift through numbers, yields, and percentages as they participate in the Maryland Council on Economic Education’s Stock Market Challenge (SMG). This dedicated group of budding financial planners study stocks and create an investment strategy for a virtual allotment of $100,000.

The SMG is an educational simulation that teaches students about the stock market, the American economic system, and the global economy. There are three sessions for the SMG (fall, winter, and spring), mirroring the Afterschool Academy program calendar.

While students do not get to enjoy the tangible results of their investment gains, several students have earned regional and state recognition, including four students this year. During the winter session, the team duo of seniors Andrew Haas and Justin Manganiello earned first in the state with a profit margin of nearly 19 percent. This spring, Haas and freshman Chris Kaufmann are holding steady at second and fourth in the state respectively out of over 700 teams.

“The program is fun, but it also teaches students about financial decision making. With the skills that they are building, these students will go on and become independent money managers,” Marx says.

Stephen Decatur High School’s afterschool programs are funded from local operating funds. You can support local afterschool programs like this through volunteerism, advocacy and in-kind donations. For more information about or to offer support for WCPS afterschool programs, contact Tamara Mills at

Beyond the Bell: Afterschool Success Stories is a weekly web featurette showcasing the opportunities offered to students through afterschool programs across the county. Beyond the Bell is published every Tuesday.