AOC students take 1st, 2nd in investment competition

Academy of the Canyons seniors Dustin Luu (below) and Alexander Patrus (above) won 1st and 2nd place in state investment competition.

Two seniors at Academy of the Canyons were assigned to participate in the “Stock Market Game” for their economics class, which resulted in them winning first and second place in the state. 

AOC seniors Dustin Luu and Alexander Patrus played the online “Stock Market Game,” which mirrors selling and trading in the real stock market, to learn about the market. After maneuvering for three months, Patrus came in first place and Luu second place, out of more than 3,500 students across the state. 

“It started out as just an assignment and I was just trying to get credit,” Patrus said. “Then I noticed I was doing well and I started to do a little more research about the stock market. I wanted to do really well.” 

Luu and Patrus explain the game mirrored real trading on the stock market, with each student being given an account with imaginary money and the ability to buy, sell and trade real companies’ stocks on the market. 

“It allowed us to really see what it’s like to trade and buy stocks,” Luu said. “I wasn’t trying to get first place, or second place even, so I was really shocked when I placed.” 

In the game, students are given an imaginary $100,000 and, while fulfilling assignment requirements, Luu and Patrus were able to make trades that increased their total amount greatly. Luu ended the game with approximately $150,000 and Patrus with more than $555,000. 

“My strategy was based on a lesson we were told in the economics class, which was ‘Stocks are worth what people think they’re worth, not what they’re actually worth,’” Patrus said. “Since this was when things were opening up after (the pandemic) I think that helped boost me, too.” 

Luu and Patrus expressed interest in investing in stocks later on, after completing their degrees. 

“This assignment showed me that if you don’t take the first step, if you don’t give effort, you’re never going to progress in any place you want to progress in,” Luu said. “It’s all about getting started. That’s really the hard part.” 

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