30-Day Stock Market Challenge Proves Profitable

Freshman Julia Cusumano manages her portfolio.


About 80 Northwood University Florida Campus students recently delved into the financial markets by participating in a 30-Day Stock Market Challenge using an on-line educational program. 

Assigned by Adjunct Professor Dr. Michael Olsher as part of their macroeconomics class curriculum, the project was designed to provide students practical knowledge relating to the history of stock and bond markets while implementing the use of the metrics necessary to evaluate a purchase of a company's shares at a particular price.

"In addition to providing the student a feel for what it means to purchase shares of a company in the stock market, students are learning through practical application that they’re responsible for their own investments and choices as to what they do with their savings. That’s why the exercise reinforces the meaningfulness of ‘making one’s money work,’ while understanding the risks associated with overall stock market valuations and individual company valuation metrics,” said Olsher of the educational tool which updates each portfolio regularly, providing students the opportunity to experience the day-to-day fluctuations of the market.

Issued $100,000 Seahawk dollars to create a portfolio of their choice with the goal of generating as much profit as possible within the 30-day span, student participants quickly learned the difference between trading and investing as they chose up to five stocks on either or both of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Nasdaq (NASD) financial markets.  

Offered the choice to enter the challenge as an individual or in a group, students such as freshman Julia Cusumano were excited for the opportunity to earn extra credit if they ended up generating all profits and no losses. “This assignment was a very good way for us to have a more meaningful understanding of the concepts we’re learning in class, and I enjoyed getting to see the real life applications to what we’ve been studying,” said Cusumano, who came out in the black, thanks to the fact that she chose Nike, AT&T, Southwest Airlines and CVS stocks because they were affordable and had low beta (measure of risk arising from exposure to general market movement) rates.


Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in seven states with many course delivery options including online. The DeVos Graduate School offers accelerated, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas and Florida. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise provides system-wide expertise in family enterprise, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and new business development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in China (Changchun and Wuxi), Malaysia and Sri Lanka.