Understanding the Stock Market

I - June 28–July 16, 2021
Modality, Day & Time:
Monday–Friday, 11:10 a.m.–1:00 p.m. and 3:10–5:00 p.m.

Tom Leach, Jeannice Tse

Proficiency with first-year algebra; some knowledge of investment strategy or corporate finance is recommended but not required. This class is intended for current 8th and 9th graders. Older students should apply for Investment Portfolio Management.

“[I've gained] a greater knowledge of investment strategy and a deeper inspiration to study finance.” — From a program course evaluation 

Course Description

With an increasing complexity, financial markets exert a powerful presence in our lives and are central to the functioning of our economy. What role does the stock market play and how does it function? What factors govern stock market behavior and lead to market booms and busts? How is the price of a company’s stock determined and how does it affect individual investors? This challenging course introduces the basic financial principles necessary to understand the role of the stock market in our economy and in our personal lives.

Class time is divided between lecture and lab. Participants assume the role of money managers in order to gain an understanding of financial markets as they manage their own portfolio of stocks in a session-long stock market simulation game. Stock options and future contracts are added to the portfolio as the managers gain market expertise. Financial theories presented in class lectures, news of current and world events, and analysis of company reports are incorporated as the new money managers develop strategies to test their understanding of the market for stocks.

Participants are required to bring laptops for this class and, as this is a quantitative course, should be comfortable with math (see prerequisite above) and prepared for a challenging experience.


Tom Leach

Tom Leach is a managing member for Preakness Hills Capital, which provides due diligence and valuation services to Wall Street buy-side firms. At Bennett Lawrence Management he served as the technology analyst for the multi-billion AUM investment firm. Prior to Wall Street, Tom worked in the semiconductor industry for Xilinx and National Semiconductor, both in a sales capacity and as a principal engineer. His designs have generated over $100 million in product revenues. He has also authored multiple articles for trade magazines and holds a U.S. patent. Tom holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the Business School Honor Society. He received his BS in electrical engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is a member of Eta Kappa Nu, the Electrical Engineering Honor Society. In off hours, Tom likes to body surf and read books on solving very large problems.

Jeannice Tse

Jeannice Tse holds an MBA with concentrations in finance, economics, and international business from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a Bachelor of Accountancy from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. She is a former management consultant with McKinsey and Co in their Corporate Finance practice. During her time there, she performed valuations and drove benchmarking analyses for US and international clients. Jeannice has worked in financial institutions for much of her career, including as an investment banker and foreign exchange trader. She recently founded Ting Academy, where, through on-demand courses and one-on-one coaching, she helps undergraduates and young professionals with resume and interview preparation as well as practical corporate finance skills .

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Specific course detail such as hours and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.