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Fifth Graders Score in Online Investing

Young Investors

Successful players of the stock market certainly need a firm grasp of math — there are all those numbers to crunch — as well as a bit of luck, and, these days, a healthy understanding of technology, too. That fits well with the stated goal of the newly launched website Kapitall.com: to use video-game technology to get more women, young people, and gamers interested in investing, reports USA Today.

Right now, the site’s users can set up practice portfolios and  invest virtually, using play money on real stocks in real time. But later this summer, the national newspaper reports, users will also be able to open actual accounts to challenge their trading acumen. To test the site, Kapitall.com used business students from the universities of Harvard, Boston and Johns Hopkins, as well as . . .  fifth graders from Cold Spring Elementary School in Potomac, Md. Who better to test the gaming aspects of the platform than 10- and 11-year-olds who have grown up with Nintendo Wiis in one hand and PS3s in the other?  And, you know what? The kids did all right, USA Today reports.

Given $100,000 of virtual money to invest, most students made money and a few made a heck of a lot of it. Sheila Gauer, 10, made around $30,000 in a month. She would have made more, she told the paper, had it not been for “the oil spill, Greece, and all of that stuff.” She says that the platform was thrilling because no one knows what will happen next, but they have to act as if they do. “It’s kind of like an adventure game to me.”

Then there was Will Sherman, who admits that he is “pretty much obsessed with Wii.” He made around twenty grand in a few days. “I didn’t think it was real. Not really real, but fake-real — kind of.”

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