Are you smarter than a 6th grader?

It seems that a group of 6th graders in Fargo, North Dakota are better at playing the stock market than the best college business students in the country:

It started as a competition between the regular and advanced math classes at Fargo’s Oak Grove Lutheran School, where Dave Carlson was teaching his students about handling money through two online investment companies. Unbeknownst to the middle school investors, one of the companies was at that time holding a university challenge that offered a $5,000 first prize to the investment club with the most profitable basket of stocks.

While Virginia-based McIntire Investment Institute won that contest with an 18.5 percent return, Carlson’s regular math class yielded a nearly 22 percent gain and trounced all the university clubs on a return-since-creation basis.

Move over Berkeley, Cornell, Columbia, NYU and USC. You’ve been beaten by Carlson’s Math Minions.

I take three things away from this:

1.  Playing the stock market isn’t as hard as they tell you it is.

2.  The kids at Oak Grove are pretty smart.

3.  The college students who major in business, even at the ‘elite’ schools, are idiots.  They really need to stop listening to Jim Cramer.


Categories: Hmm, Humor, Job Skills

Tags: , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. No, I think the real take-away is that doing well or poorly in the short-term is all a matter of luck. Things like concentration in one or a few stocks, which increases the chance you’ll do really well (or really poorly) since one stock can move a lot more than a basket of stocks, During a period of a year or less I’m not convinced anyone will do better than a dart throwing monkey consistently. These contests are good for learning the mechanics of stock investing, but a contest would need to go on for about 10 years to really separate the good from the lucky.

    I like what you’re doing here. Please stop by my blog if you get the chance:


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