Late in 2014, a story in New York Magazine caught my attention because it seemed too preposterous to be true, Because a Stuyvesant Senior Made Millions Picking Stocks. His Hedge Fund Opens As Soon As He Turns 18. As I dove into the story further, I thought, what a great way to let students put on their accounting detective hats and figure out if the story was credible. As they complete the NGPF Case Study, your students will familiarize themselves with investing terms like hedge fund, investments, trading stocks, oil and gold and also learn how to use a rate of return calculator.
The activity starts by having them read the article about this high school investing tycoon and methodically list the facts of the case and any problems they identify with these facts. The next step in the activity has the students use a rate of return calculator to determine what sort of return the investor needed to have to parlay his tutoring earnings into an 8 figure portfolio. Finally, the students have an opportunity to develop their written communication skills by drafting an email to the reporter to let her know of the errors in her story. As that old adage reminds us, “If it sounds too good to be true…”