Students expand upon business education, invest in stock market

Abby Grant & Savera Zulfiqar, staff reporters

In accordance with courses such as Consumer Education or United States History, students are able to fulfill their academic requirement while learning about the stock market. However, a collection of students take their knowledge on the stock exchange a step further by participating in buying and selling stocks outside of school. According to sophomore Matthew Jortberg, he has been involved in both buying and selling stocks for around four or five years.

“I buy and sell stocks on a very long term basis, so I’ll buy a stock and then sell it a few years later,” Jortberg explained.

According to Jortberg, he studies companies’ stock patterns before making the decision to purchase a stock. Jortberg explained the research process that assists him in ensuring a maximum profit from his stock exchanges.

“I read a lot of news about companies,” Jortberg said. “For example, [for] a healthcare company or a pharmaceutical company, I’ll read about what type of drug they’re producing and whether that’s going to come to the market, or if they’re going to get FDA approval for that. I also look at a company’s financials. I look a lot at their earnings, profit, and cash flow.”

Jortberg expressed how he primarily became involved in the stock market exchange. According to Jortberg, he was intrigued by stock charts while watching the news one day.

“I remember watching CNBC one time, and I saw the ticker with all the stocks moving and I thought, that’s so cool how you could just put money into something and it can pretty much just grow automatically,” Jortberg said.

According to Dawn Hall, head of the Business Department at South, students have gained interest in business education to obtain knowledge and skills needed for the future beyond high school. Hall believes that this has been a factor in the increased involvement of classes within the Business Department.
“I’ve talked to many business and other professionals and a common theme is how an understanding of business and the skills developed are beneficial in almost every career path,” Hall said. “In just about any position you’ll need to be able to pitch an idea to a group through a presentation, manage a budget, sell a concept or idea, and understanding your target market for example.”

With the introduction of new courses such as Accounting Honors, Investment Strategies, and Business Incubator Startup, Hall hopes to improve business education at South for the growing number of students interested every year.

“We have added two full-time teacher to bring the number of business teachers to seven,” Hall said.  “We see many students who come in to GBS with a clear interest in pursuing business as a potential major, and also see students who explore business to help determine their future path.”

Freshman Jason Leszynski is an active member in the stock market exchange. According to Leszynski, the commencement of his involvement in stocks took place when he was in sixth grade, following an influential school project from the year before.

”At Glen Grove, we had a stock market project and we learned about the stock market,” Leszynski said. “That’s what inspired me to invest money […]. I got kind of lucky because that was when we got out of our recession from 2008 and 2009, and the market grew a lot those three years coming out.”

Leszynski elaborated on a variety of stocks he has purchased, including stocks in companies such as Apple and Google. Over time, Leszynski believes that purchasing stocks has helped him to develop techniques in speculating beneficial companies to invest in to expand his stock investments.

“I’ve learned you want to invest in companies that have potential to grow a lot,” Leszynski expressed.

Similarly to Leszynski, Jortberg invested in an Apple stock about five years ago. Jortberg explained an occurrence in which his Apple stock split from $750 into 7 stocks, which issued fellow Apple stock holders additional shares.

“I’ve held onto Apple Stock for a long time […]. And I bought it when it was below $500, and then it went up a lot, and then the stocks split. And that was around the time the iPad came out and everybody was really confident in Apple Stock.”

Jortberg and Leszynski are not alone in expressing interest in stock trading. According to junior Alex Saarinen, he recently became involved in the stock market after being influenced by his father’s involvement.

“My dad has been day trading for a while,” Saarinen said. “[He’s been] talking to me a lot about it so I thought I may be able to try it out. And I’m actually really interested in [the stock market]”