Student investors watch market

Published 2:21 pm Friday, October 10, 2008

The Financial Education Club of Montevallo High School recently donated $200 to Shelby Emergency Assistance.

The funds were a distribution of the proceeds from an “Invest for the Future” grant provided by the Adams Foundation. This is the third year MHS has participated in the program. The grant provides $2,000 annually to be invested and managed by the students.

Tom Hester, the instructor, reports that each class must make the decisions regarding whether the account balances from the preceding year should be liquidated and reinvested. This year the students invested their funds in the stock market through E*Trade Securities in Best Buy Company Inc., Golden Enterprises Inc. and Southern Company shares. Hester explained the students have, over the three–year period, contributed $600 to local causes and invested $5,400. Currently they are only down about $900 –– not bad considering the stock market as a whole.

“The program provides an excellent opportunity for students to learn to invest for the future as the grant name implies,” said Hester. “It is a wonderful teaching opportunity with the stock market going through such turbulent times. I am impressed with the students that I am teaching and have taught since we have been in the program. They are very aware of the economic world around them and very concerned as we all are for the future. They are also very serious about seeing that the 10 percent contribution goes to a worthy organization.”

The club officers are president Mary Grace Payne, vice-president Jordan Parker, secretary Alex Ludvik and treasurer Rachel Willingham. There are 21 students in the club. The grant agreement requires that each student give at least 30 hours a year in volunteer community service and also requires that 10 percent of the funds be contributed to a local charity.

The grant is made to only five schools in Alabama: Hueytown High, Homewood High, Huffman High, Fairfield Preparatory High and Montevallo. The agreement for the grant contains this explanation, “The primary purpose of the Annual Grant is to foster entrepreneurship, promote investment education, fiscal responsibility, and money management skills among participating students.”

Catherine Legg can be reached at