At a Glance
As members of the Little Lion Fund (LLF), business students at State College Area High School advise members of the Little Lion Investment Club on which stocks to buy and sell based on their research and analysis.
The Little Lion Investment Club is a group of adult investors interested in financial education. They serve as general partners in the Club and allow LLF students to do the work and research of stock analysis. Students make research-based recommendations to Club members about investments. As of 2015, the Club had over $30,000 in investments, with a market value of over $65,000, based on the suggestions made by students.
Students who wish to participate in the LLF must first successfully complete the Stocks and Investments I class. In this class, they learn about stocks and the markets and the basics of fundamental analysis. They then must enroll in the Stocks and Investment II class, which is the Little Lion Fund.
LLF members evaluate stocks through fundamental analysis, both qualitative and quantitative. They meet regularly to review the portfolio, research stocks, and develop recommendations to the Club. After they conduct their research and stock analysis, students use this information to select and pitch stocks to the class. The class votes on which final recommendations to make to Club members, and members receive email notification. Club members have 24 hours to reply with their approval or disapproval of the recommendation.
Origin / Implementation
The Little Lion Investment Club and the LLF were established in 2012 in an effort to provide students with real life experiences that reinforce the skills they learned in the classroom. Instructors in the Business and Marketing programs along with their Occupational Advisory Committees viewed the project as an effective way to engage students in their learning in a meaningful and authentic manner. Students are provided a unique opportunity to further their understanding of financial markets, to reinforce the concepts they learn in accounting and finance classes, and to apply those concepts to a real-world experience.
When the Club and the LLF were established, formal operating procedures were created and documented. These procedures provide details on fund management and accounting measures.
Results / Impact
Based on anecdotal accounts, students appear more motivated to learn when they participate in the LLF. They seem to comprehend finance concepts well and develop business skills more successfully than if they only learned them through textbook simulations and mock portfolio/investment contests.
Presenting to real investors with real money on the line teaches LLF students 21st century skills and numeracy/statistical skills, while it also engages them in their learning.
State College Area School District
Dr. Sharon Perry, CTC Director
Jennifer Miller, Instructor