JA Take Stock in Your Future & Stock Market Challenge Event

The JA Stock Market Challenge is typically held in March and educates students about investment and trading in the stock market in a hands-on, high-tech simulation of the New York Stock Exchange floor. The goal is to build the highest portfolio. Includes five classroom lessons before the event (two volunteer-led and three teacher-led) titled JA Take Stock in Your Future.  

In the classroom sessions, students learn about stocks, trading, and fundamentals of goal setting in investments. This program helps students to prepare to invest and be comfortable with increasing their knowledge of investing in the stock market culminating in participating in the Stock Market Challenge event competition.

Pillars of Student Success Entrepreneurship:  Financial-Literacy:  Work-Readiness: 
Program Implementation Program Grade-Level
Classroom-Based High School
Program Concepts Program Skills
Individual Equities, Impact of the Economy, Geopolitical Events, Market Sentiment, Teamwork, Math skills, Risk and Rewards of Trading, Personal Finance, SMART Financial Goals, Communication, Technology, Portfolio, Dividends, Stock Market Stock Market, Public vs Private Companies, Buying and Selling through Stock Exchanges and Markets, Risks Associated with Owning Stock, Analyze Stock Table, Explore Market Events Affecting Share Prices, IPOs, Investment Strategies, Identify Three Asset Classes and Risks, Set SMART Personal Finance Goals

Program Sessions

Session One: Understanding Stocks

Students will learn about the stock market, explore the difference between public and private companies, and discover why companies issue stock.  Students will understand why individuals invest in companies through stocks, how stocks are bought and sold through stock exchanges and markets, and that there is risk associated with owning stock.


Session Two: Stock Trading

In the second session of Take Stock in Your Future, students learn how to read a stock table and explore how market events affect share prices.


Session Three: Initial Public Offerings and Dividends

In this session about the stock market, students learn how to make decisions regarding initial purchase offerings.  They will also see how dividends can be a benefit to their investment strategy and why companies may or may not issue them to stockholders.


Session Four: Best In Class

In this session, students use an online simulation to put their knowledge to use. Students attending the JA Student Stock Market Challenge will review rules and roles for the event.


Session Five: Risk, Return and Goal Setting

This activity is designed to ensure students understand the concepts of risk and return when investing in the stock market and setting SMART personal financial goals. This activity can be led by the JA volunteer or the classroom teacher.



Stock Market Challenge Event

The Stock Market Challenge is centered on a software system that simulates a 60-day cycle of the stock market and its function of buying, selling, analysis and risk. Every 60 seconds represents a day of trading. Each day brings news from the financial markets challenging student teams to analyze and decide what actions they should take.

The goal of each team is to accumulate the highest possible net worth in their investment portfolio at the close of trading. Due to the volatile market, and the games frantic pace, teams will be pushed to the brink, as they compete to have the largest portfolio by the end of trading. The event is an evening of fun and excitement, where the stakes are high and the competition is fierce.