"They ask questions about what they read or hear on the radio," he says. "Investment becomes more involved and part of their daily life. If they hear something about unemployment, they ask me, 'How is that affecting our portfolio?' It has opened their eyes to investing and the economy and it will follow them in their lives into the future."
"We have always emphasized that we are long-term investors, we should do research, we should buy something we know, and with that they are not as worried about a stock going down," Yungenge says. "It can be nerve-racking when you see your portfolio and holdings going down. They know, however, that you do your research, don't worry about the daily or per-second changes in the value and think long term."
Cathy is also optimistic that the lessons learned will keep the girls on a steady, profitable pace.
"This program gives them a chance to see how the money grows, as well as how it might be adversely impacted by market conditions," he says. "They key here is to let them see that these are not reasons to make a drastic move. Those are things you have to understand will happen in the market so that you don't miss out on a rebound or comeback opportunity because you were too quick to change your portfolio allocation. It is not about the short term, it is not about what you can see today, it is a lifelong practice in saving and investing."
Alexis, 16, a junior in high school, is the president of the Denver-based investing team. While she doesn't think she will pursue financial services as a career path ("math isn't really my strong point," she says) she does think the experience has changed her for the better.
Before the experience, she thought of investing as something for "older people."
"But I'm 15 and I know all of this," she says. "Now I look at it as something that is really fun and it's like, 'Wow. I can learn all about this.' It does become fascinating to know about the
and things like that. Once I got into it I realized it can be real fun, and it's something I know I'll keep with me."