The Week in Review is provided by The Stock Market Game, which is a curriculum-based teaching tool that allows students to invest a hypothetical $100,000 online stock portfolio to learn about long-term saving and investing.

The Stock Market Game Week in Review: Apr. 21-25

In an effort to boost the flagging economy, the federal government announced last week it will start distributing the special stimulus payments on Monday, April 28 -- four days earlier than expected.

Each day this week, with the exception of Thursday, May 1, 800,000 tax filers will have their checks deposited. The rebates range from $600 for single filers to $1,200 for couples as well as $300 rebates per child. Why the early delivery? According to Andrew DeSouza, a U.S. Department of Treasury spokesperson, the payments will go out ahead of schedule due to a new computer program that updates records daily -- faster than the previous program that updated the information weekly. Overall, the Treasury will distribute more than $110 billion to 130 million taxpayers by July and hopes to get the first $50 billion out by the end of May.

Although many Americans may be making a trip to the mall this week to spend their stimulus check, we will focus on socially responsible investing (SRI), in light of last Tuesday's Apr. 22 celebration of Earth Day.

For many, being "green" means recycling containers and newspapers, limiting the amount of water we use, as well as using low-energy fluorescent bulbs for our lights and turning them off when we leave the room. For investors, it can also mean investing in companies that do all of this as well as generate a healthy return on your investment.

Socially responsible investing (SRI) or green investing generally refers to investing in public companies whose goals and primary business practices work toward the benefit of society. Green companies may position themselves and their investors to help slow the rate of climate change and take advantage of profitable opportunities to provide goods and services. They may also adhere to acceptable environmental and human rights standards. Additionally, SRI can be driven by religious and political affiliations as well so there is a diversity of thought on what makes a company responsible or an investment acceptable.

How do your Stock Market Game students find more information about companies that adhere to green or socially responsible standards? TheStreet.com's article " How to Strike Green Gold" is a good start, as it reminds students that they must first analyze the stock market side, but also the company's business practices to determine whether they mirror one's interests.

Not only can students invest in individual stocks, but there is a huge variety of green mutual funds and ETFs (which we reviewed in last week's Week in Review) to choose from. As recommended in the TheStreet.com article, www.socialfunds.com is a great site for additional research, news and information on social investing.

Your students may also want to check out www.kld.com. This site provides a "screen" to determine whether or not companies are acting in ways that are consistent with positive standards of corporate conduct in the areas of climate change and human rights.

To further your students' exposure to SRI or green investing, please take a look at the "Going Green" project in the Teacher Support Center on the Stock Market Game Web site. This project introduces students to the concept of "environmentally responsible investing" through activities based on the book The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. Students will examine how companies balance their need for raw material with their need to manage those same resources to insure future availability and supply. It is accessible in the "Projects" section of the Teacher Support Center.

To learn more about The Stock Market Game, go to www.stockmarketgame.org.
This article was written by a staff member of The Stock Market Game.

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