Connecticut Seventh-Grader Offers Financial Advice to Walt Disney and Wins SIFMA Foundation’s National InvestWrite ® Essay Competition

Connecticut Seventh-Grader Offers Financial Advice to Walt Disney and Wins SIFMA Foundation’s National InvestWrite ® Essay Competition



SIFMA Foundation programs are also preparing students like Kalwat for their financial lives. The SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game ™ , an online simulation of the global capital markets for 4 th through 12 th grade students, reinforces STEM learning and 21st Century skills as well as economics and personal finance. InvestWrite builds on what students learn in The Stock Market Game to further explore practical financial decision-making. Students gain confidence and a deeper understanding of economic opportunities, consequences, and benefits. They consider real-world events and news, conduct research online, and develop investment recommendations. Where they work in groups during The Stock Market Game program, InvestWrite participants write individual essays to reflect their critical thinking, analysis and creative talents. Since InvestWrite’s launch in 2004, almost 229,000 students have submitted essays. 

The Fall 2018 InvestWrite competition required students to select an entrepreneur they admire, research their company and explain how they would advise the entrepreneur to invest the company’s assets. Brian Kalwat highlighted the leadership of Walt Disney. Kalwat indicated in his essay that he would recommend a diversified approach and wrote, “One thing that I would suggest if Disney successfully raised money in the capital markets is to diversify. Diversification is very important in the stock market. This is because it may protect you from losing lots of money.” Kalwat concluded.

 Winning InvestWrite essays are chosen through rigorous judging by thousands of teachers and industry professionals who evaluate students’ understanding of long-term investing, diversification, the global capital markets, and factors that drive investments as well as their expression of investment ideas in essay form. Winners receive exciting awards and prizes including laptops, classroom pizza parties, trophies, plaques and banners, and certificates. The first-place national winners in middle school and high school are awarded a three-day all-expense paid trip to New York City, the financial capital of the world, with their teacher and a parent.

Brian Kalwat and his teacher, Elizabeth Sterner, were honored at an event Monday, Feb. 25, at John F. Kennedy Middle School, Plantsville. Representatives of the SIFMA Foundation were present to recognize the student, teacher, parents and the school. Kalwat was previously recognized as an InvestWrite winner when he wrote the first place essay in Connecticut in the middle school division, Fall 2017. Winning Essay by Brian Kalwat 

Winning Essay 

One entrepreneur who I admire is Walt Disney. The Disney Company is much different than its competitors. If the company just successfully raised money in the capital markets, I would choose to invest it through diversification and choosing carefully on what stocks to buy. I would also decide what to do with the money I earn from stocks.

Disney is both an amusement park and TV company. One thing that makes Disney different from its amusement park competitors is that they own their own characters. Other theme parks, like Six Flags, license characters from other companies. These characters are often more well-known than what other companies use. This can result in more people coming to their parks. One thing that makes Disney different from its competitors in TV is that it owns so many companies. Disney owns ABC and ESPN, as well as having their own channels. This means that there is a large range of TV shows owned by Disney. This is how Disney is different from its competitors. One thing that I would suggest if Disney successfully raised money in the capital markets is to diversify.

Diversification is very important in the stock market. This is because it may protect you from losing lots of money. The 11 sectors of the stock market are, financials, utilities, consumer discretionary, consumer staples, energy, healthcare, industrials, technology, telecommunications, materials, and real estate. 

An example of how diversification could protect you is if you were invested in energy and real estate companies and real estate goes down. In this case, you would still be earning money from your stocks in energy. However, if you were only invested in real estate, you could lose a large amount of money. This is why if Disney successfully raised money in the capital markets, I would diversify. Another thing that I would do if Disney successfully raised money in the capital markets is that I would check to make sure that the companies that Disney invests in are not their competitors. The reason I say this is because if Disney were to invest in another amusement park or TV company and they were to lose money, Disney would be giving some of their money to their competitors.

This would only harm Disney and cause it to lose money to their competitors when it could be easily prevented. For this reason, Disney should not invest in any of its competitors. Also, if Disney were to invest in any mutual funds, they should be sure to check to make sure that no competitors are inside them. Therefore, if Disney successfully raised money in the capital markets, I would check to make sure that the companies that Disney invests in are not competitors of theirs. A final thing that I would do if Disney successfully raised money in the capital markets is make careful decisions on how to spend the money earned from their investments. I think that about 25 percent of the money earned from investments should go into investing into even more stocks and further diversifying their stock portfolio.

This way, Disney is more likely to earn more money and lose less. The rest of the money earned from investments should go into improving the company, paying employees and adding more rides to their amusement parks, as they will likely need more improvements by now. This is how I would spend money earned from Disney’s investments if they successfully raised money in the capital markets.

This shows why Disney is different from its competitors and what I would do if they successfully raised money in the capital markets. I would diversify and choose carefully on what stocks to buy and what to do with money earned from stocks.


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