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Published: Tuesday, 4/12/2011

8th graders surge with silver

Accidental pick yields huge financial gain

BY LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Sometimes luck outperforms knowledge.

With just three weeks to go to the finish, the names atop the leaderboard of The Blade's annual School Stock Contest are the same, but the order is different.

The "stocker" team from Christ the King Elementary School used a big run on silver to vault over both "JBNcrew" and "TEAM BG" to grab a $293 lead this week at a value of $47,616.

Their key pick, as it turns out, was chosen by accident.

The stocker team, made up of ten eighth-grade students in Marietta Bobroski's math class at Christ the King, is largely riding on the coat- tails of one stock, Canadian precious metals firm First Majestic Silver Corp., which has risen 82 percent in two months.

HOW THEY FARED

1. stocker, Christ the King, Toledo, $47,615.81
2. TEAM BG, Bowling Green High, $47,323.11
3. JBNcrew, Anthony Wayne Jr., Whitehouse, $47,217.28
4. LOL, Hicksville Elementary, $46,565.90
5. Martian, Whiteford Agricultural, Ottawa Lake, $45,477.12
6. ThugLyf, Bowling Green High, $45,301.40
7. Pirates, Maritime Academy of Toledo, $44,564.09
8. MNYmart, Luckey Elementary, $44,013.23
9. M3GUSTA, Rossford Jr., $43,792.90
10. Rebels, St. John the Baptist, Toledo, $43,616.49
11. Random1, Rossford Jr., $43,291.74
12. PAY UP, Luckey Elementary, $43,259.02
13. Whitmer, Whitmer High, Toledo, $42,954.97
14. Dividend, Horizons Program TPS, Toledo, $42,951.09
15. 8bigbux, Holy Trinity, Swanton, $42,800.04
16. Biscuit, Anthony Wayne Jr., Whitehouse, $42,752.18
17. Hawks, Maumee Valley Country Day, Toledo, $42,663.78
18. MNBRPIG, Bowling Green High, $42,399.06
19. BAMotos, Bowling Green High, $42,307.25
20. Eagles 8, Clay High, Oregon, $42,304.04
21. Team FSU, Whiteford Agricultural, Ottawa Lake, $42,301.37
22. Spakes, St. Pius X, Toledo, $42,167.41
23. Monopotron, Fallen Timbers Middle, Whitehouse, $41,946.56
24. Masters, Whiteford Agricultural, Ottawa Lake, $41,885.41
25. CakeMix, St. Pius X, Toledo, $41,875.38
26. IKEmgkt, Eisenhower Middle, Oregon, $41,799.74
27. Dunbugz, Rossford Jr., $41,725.18
28. BearInc, Hilfiker Elementary, Gibsonburg, $41,679.44
29. Bull Market, Horizons Program TPS, Toledo, $41,671.08
30. DeBombs, Hilfiker Elementary, Gibsonburg, $41,518.91
31. Big Black Marketers, Fostoria Jr., $41,374.39
32. SHAMWOW, Whiteford Agricultural, Ottawa Lake, $41,370.05
33. 4theWIN, Anthony Wayne Jr., Whitehouse, $41,331.79
34. Snoopy, Hicksville Elementary, $41,287.19
35. breezy9, Whiteford Agricultural, Ottawa Lake, $41,161.23
36. DaATeam, St. Joan of Arc Catholic, Toledo, $41,156.84
37. Won Tons, Sylvania Franciscan Academy, $41,084.31
38. Swaggar, Sylvania Franciscan Academy, $41,059.46
39. JAGUARS, Rossford Jr., $41,053.54
40. Fluffy6, Hicksville Middle, $40,999.84
41. bucs, Maritime Academy of Toledo, $40,978.15
42. Hotcash, Christ the King, Toledo, $40,900.04
43. Tweekz, Hicksville Middle, $40,887.58
44. cashflo, St. Joan of Arc Catholic, Toledo, $40,884.46
45. Smurfs, Sylvania Franciscan Academy, $40,869.18
46. SPWWBVRVS, Fallen Timbers Middle, Whitehouse, $40,794.78
47. TEAM 3, Bowling Green High, $40,765.37
48. stockdr, St. Joan of Arc Catholic, Toledo, $40,749.33
49. eagles7, Holy Trinity, Swanton, $40,694.20
50. R2D2S, Rossford Jr., $40,666.61
51. BGHS4, Bowling Green High, $40,568.01
52. Eagles 3, Clay High, Oregon, $40,558.14
53. Aces, Sylvania Franciscan Academy, $40,442.73
54. BGLions, Bowling Green Christian Academy, $40,282.34
55. GetSome, Christ the King, Toledo, $40,072.19
56. Pickl3s, Bowling Green High, $40,034.44
57. Tw3ntys, North Point ESC, Genoa, $40,030.77
58. BIGBUCKS, Fallen Timbers Middle, Whitehouse, $39,952.66
59. CODMW3, Bowling Green Christian Academy, $39,872.39
60. YoMamma, Rossford Jr., $39,845.73
61. GPSTARS, Luckey Elementary, $39,822.58
62. King Marketers, Fostoria Jr., $39,817.26
63. Profit, Horizons Program TPS, Toledo, $39,802.63
64. 5Helloz, Park Elementary, Swanton, $39,754.41
65. Ninjas, Rossford Jr., $39,600.85
66. CAKE, Whiteford Agricultural, Ottawa Lake, $39,526.46
67. BizKidz, Hilfiker Elementary, Gibsonburg, $39,523.87
68. STARZ, Fairfield Elementary, Maumee, $39,495.02
69. Winnerz, Rossford Jr., $39,482.94
70. Ckooka Marketros, Fostoria Jr., $39,422.01
71. Chiefs1, East Broadway Middle, Toledo, $39,345.03
72. Team711, Park Elementary, Swanton, $39,293.62
73. gotCASH, St. Joan of Arc Catholic, Toledo, $39,270.87
74. rougewaves, Maritime Academy of Toledo, $39,265.57
75. ChuChng, Luckey Elementary, $39,221.36
76. DARE, Luckey Elementary, $39,219.30
77. StoxRox, Pike Delta York Middle, Delta, $39,192.52
78. STOCKER, Bowling Green High, $39,192.52
79. Duenos, East Broadway Middle, Toledo, $39,172.64
80. BestofM, East Broadway Middle, Toledo, $39,062.42
81. 8 Bills, Luckey Elementary, $38,986.99
82. TheTop, Anthony Wayne Jr., Whitehouse, $38,821.78
83. Loserz, Rossford Jr., $38,744.66
84. CarLOs, Bowling Green High, $38,621.71
85. Schwabs, Rossford Jr., $38,558.31
86. MVClass, Christ the King, Toledo, $38,547.08
87. TEAM JO, Bowling Green High, $38,500.15
88. SUNNYD, Bowling Green High, $38,491.92
89. TeamPan, Whitmer High, Toledo, $38,466.48
90. DMStox, Pike Delta York Middle, Delta, $38,462.27
91. Rockets, Park Elementary, Swanton, $38,436.81
92. Octopus, Rossford Jr., Rossford, $38,325.75
93. KaXing, Pike Delta York Middle, Delta, $38,287.62
94. Comet 11, Genoa High, Genoa, $38,008.98
95. South Side, Fostoria Jr., $37,958.40
96. Stars, Park Elementary, Swanton, $37,950.68
97. Dinaco, North Point ESC, Genoa, $37,914.68
98. BAGFED, North Point ESC, Genoa, $37,881.84
99. Mariners, Maritime Academy of Toledo, $37,774.34
100. WHTFSU, Whiteford Agricultural, Ottawa Lake, $37,494.97
101. Schooners, Maritime Academy of Toledo, $37,483.18
102. BGCALP2, Bowling Green Christian Academy, $37,464.20
103. Cash11, North Point ESC, Genoa, $37,214.58
104. SALTY06, Rossford Jr., $36,921.57
105. Stockrz, Pike Delta York Middle, Delta, $33,762.11
106. BGHS72, Bowling Green High, $31,776.17

Reached Monday, Mrs. Bobroski said her class had chosen its four stocks after a week of research, talking to their parents, and studying. When it came time to make their final picks, she wrote down the ticker symbols her students had told her. But while they got three of them right, they thought the symbol for one of their chosen stocks, German sportswear maker Adidas AG, was "AG" -- the acronym for many German corporations.

Instead, "AG" is the stock ticker symbol for high-flying First Majestic, as well as the periodic table symbol for its main product, silver.

The team's other holdings, telecom giant Verizon Inc., and entertainment company Viacom Inc., are both relatively flat, while its fourth stock, defense giant Northrop Grumman Corp., is down over 10 percent.

"It's a complete accident," Mrs. Bobroski said of the pick of First Majestic. "I've had teams in this contest for five or seven years, and we've never even been in the op ten before this, let alone in the lead. It is wonderful."

TEAM BG, from Bowling Green High School, which had been in first place for the last five consecutive weeks, was in second at $47,323, and JBNcrew, from Anthony Wayne Junior High School in Whitehouse, fell one place to third at a value of $47,217.

A total of 106 teams from 30 schools in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan are in the contest, with about two-thirds of the fictional portfolios in the black.

The University of Toledo, a contest co-sponsor, is tabulating the weekly results. The contest began Feb. 4 and ends at market's close April 29.

Each team chose four stocks, worth at least $5 a share, for a hypothetical $40,000 portfolio that was initially divided evenly among the four choices. The team whose portfolio grows the most at the contest's end wins $250 for the school and $250 for the team. Second place gets $250 for the school, and third place gets $100.

Just 26 teams experienced increases in the value of their holdings last week.

Steve Sherline, regional investment advisers chief at Fifth Third Bank, which is co-sponsoring the contest with The Blade's Newspaper in Education program, said the market remains volatile, but rewards those who carefully pick their stocks.

"You see in the leaders teams that continue to either be buoyed by one big performer or by having a representative across several sectors," Mr. Sherline said. "Given all the political turbulence of the last 30 days, the [Standard&Poors 500 index] is up over the last 30 days, even though the trading volume in March was the lowest for a full month since September, 1999."

Contact Larry P. Vellequette at lvellequette@theblade.com or 419-724-6091



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