On Monday morning, the El Pomar Fellows gathered at Penrose House for their final Investment Challenge class, where the winner of their nine-month stock market simulation game would be revealed and awarded a set of engraved bear and bull bookends. The class introduces Fellows to the important role that investing plays in helping a foundation fulfill its mission.
Competition had been tense in the final weeks of the game, and the top four competitors were switching places nearly every day. But, in the end, first-year Fellow Chris Ellis pulled out the win with a portfolio of that had increased by over $50,000 and yielded a 70 percent annual return rate. He was followed closely by second-year Fellow Brady Nachtrieb and first-year Fellow Stephanie South.
“The most enjoyable segment of the class was definitely the competition,” said Ellis. “It was an eye-opening class that transformed my curiosity about investing into a strong interest.”
While the Fellows’ Investment Challenge class does include a stock market simulation game, the stock market is not the only focus of the class. Investment Challenge, part of the two-year professional development program at El Pomar Foundation, also educates Fellows on personal finance and organizational financial management—training them to become better stewards of their own money, and equipping them to understand endowments and other nonprofit and for-profit financial tools.
As the latest class wraps up, the first-year fellows are contemplating starting another simulation so they can continue competing against one another, and the third place winner, who might as well have finished last, stares at her “too close for comfort” plaque and begins to strategize for this fall’s game.