Canton 5th Grader Takes First Place in InvestWrite® Essay Competition

Professionals, family and educators surprise Allison Tessman with the news Wednesday morning.

As they listened to an investment expert talk about the stock market in a school cafeteria Wednesday morning, a group of Canton Intermediate School students began exchanging glances, smiles and a few giggles.

It wasn't a case of disrespect or boredom but the students became increasingly excited as they realized one of them had won big.

In fact, 5th grader Allison Tessman garnered first place in an essay competition about investing and the stock market.

As he spoke, Aaron M. Scott, of RBC Wealth Management, spoke to the students about the profession and steadily dropped hints as to who received first place for their age group in the InvestWrite® competition, an honor that comes with a few financial and academic prizes — and a pizza party.

“I am so surprised,” Tessman said. “I had no idea that I would have won.”

The competition, sponsored by Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Foundation, is open to Stock Market Game™ participants. Tessman was required to choose a publicly traded company and write about why it would or wouldn’t be a sound investment.

“InvestWrite and the Stock Market Game program require students like Allison to monitor daily global market activity, business trends, and economic factors that drive investments to determine the growth potential of industries, companies, asset classes and specific stocks, bonds, and mutual funds,” said Melanie Mortimer, Executive Director of the SIFMA Foundation. “They are then asked to make sophisticated, thoughtful recommendations that reflect what is expected of college and career-ready students.”

CIS Enrichment specialist Elisa Genovese, who works with Tessman and her fellow enrichment 5th-grade students twice a week in a variety of activities, including the Stock Market game, said she knew the essay had a chance of winning.

“I’m just so proud of Allison’s effort. She did a great job,” she said. “I was so excited but not completely surprised.”

Allison’s mother Karen echoed those comments.

“We’re just really proud of her; she worked hard on it,” she said.

Karen Tessman said her daughter aspires to be an actuary but works hard in all her activities, whether it be the softball field, the school band or chamber singers. 

Allison Tessman's Winning Essay: 'Disney — The Rock Solid Choice'

Walt Disney Company (ticker symbol: DIS) is a hot stock! The company operates in the consumer services industry. Disney is made up of five different business parts. The first part is the media networks, consisting of cable television, radio, publishing and digital, which operate through two businesses called Disney/ABC Television Group and ESPN, Inc. The second part is the parks and resorts, consisting of eleven theme parks, forty-three resorts and a cruise line with four ships. These parks and resorts can be found in North America, Europe, Asia and soon in Shanghai. The third part is the Walt Disney Studios consisting of movies released under Pixar, Disneynature, Marvel Studios, Touchstone Pictures and the Star Wars franchise; music released under Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records; and stage plays that include live events, Broadway and Disney on Ice. The fourth part is the Disney consumer products, which includes merchandise and retail in North America, Europe and Japan. The fifth part is the Disney interactive, which controls video games and consoles and websites.

After researching Walt Disney Company I feel that this stock is a good long term investment because it is usually making money even when the economy is poor. It is very unlikely for Disney to fail because all of their parks and resorts over the last several years have done better than what they predicted for each quarter. Also, the branding of Disney characters, for example, Mickey Mouse and Buzz Lightyear, have made Disney successful through bad times. There is no other company that is well known and loved by all ages and people all over the world. If someone wants to invest their money in a stock that is always stable even in bad times, then Walt Disney Company is right for them.

Walt Disney Company constantly invests money to grow their five business parts. Sometimes their investments do not go as they plan and then other times they go even better than they planned. For example, in 1998 the stock price went down when Disney paid 9.2 billion dollars for the rights to show Monday and Sunday night NFL football, but the television ratings were lower than expected, which meant it was not a good investment. Disney did not do as well as they planned when they purchased the rights. In 2012, Walt Disney Company purchased the Star Wars franchise for four billion dollars. This purchase will allow Disney to add to their theme parks, rides, toys and video games, which means that the stock is predicted to go up. The reason why it is predicted to go up is because all five of Disney’s business parts will create new products from this investment. Stock analysts predict that Disney’s net income will grow over twenty-four percent by the end of the third quarter in 2013.

I researched my decision on why the Walt Disney Company is a good long term investment by reading several articles that were done by market stock researchers, visiting several financial websites and watching Fox News reports on television. I also learned from my mother, who is in the financial industry and has taught me how and where to research a company. These are the sources of my research: Disneyworld.disney.go.com/destinations/,www.stockmarketgame.orgwww.google.com, fox news on November 8th, 2012, www.nasdaq.com (stock summary),finance.yahoo.com (historical prices), and an article by Nick Camp, Nick Meyer and Muddasir Sultan called Walt Disney Company (FINA 4200.002).

During the Stock Market Game, I learned what stocks were all about. I learned that stocks go up and down when a company makes a new investment or creates a new brand. I have learned about stock researchers (Analysts) and revenues (sales) and now I can understand what my family and other people are saying when they talk about stock prices. My mother taught me about the beta of a stock and how it tells you the risk of a stock. I feel that I can now join in on conversations when someone is talking about stocks, company sales and analysts.


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