Grunion Gazette - Long Beach

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Poly Student Nabs National Economics Award

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Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012 5:00 am

When he wakes up in the morning, Braxton Greco is in the habit of checking his stocks and reading the day’s financial articles using newspaper and magazine apps on his phone.

But Greco’s no New York stockbroker — yet. He’s a 17-year-old student at Poly High School who took first place last month in the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) InvestWrite national student essay competition. His essay was chosen from a pool of 20,000.

The assignment, which was done in tandem with an AP economics class at Poly, was to analyze an investment scenario and write a long-term financial plan using real-world economic factors and trends. Greco chose to write about five strategies that can help an investor decide whether a particular stock is a good investment. He used the company Nike as a case study for what a good long-term investment would look like.

“Given current market values and continuing worldwide economic volatility, I would place 60-70% of investments into longer term, lower risk equities with high future returns, with strong holdings in Nike,” Greco’s essay concludes. “The company’s ability to stay profitable through difficult times, strong fundamentals and opportunity for tremendous future growth outweigh any short-term volatile risks.”

His essay, which he said took him about one month’s worth of research and work to write, has won him a trophy as well as a trip this summer to Wall Street, where he will meet working professionals and visit the New York Stock Exchange. Greco said he is still surprised and honored to have won the competition, and he is looking forward to the trip this summer because it will help him get closer to working in New York City.

“Hopefully, I’ll work on Wall Street someday,” the high school junior said.

Greco participates in the PACE academic program in addition to his role as a member of Poly’s tennis team, Model United Nations Club, Speech and Debate Team, Spanish Club and International Studies Club.

Greco wasn’t the only one at Poly to be recognized by SIFMA. The school, in collaboration with SIFMA, hosted an awards ceremony to honor Greco as well as another student, Eric Gorzeman, who won fourth place in the competition. Also the two boys’ economics teacher, Daniel Adler, was recognized.

Poly High School Principal Joe Carlson praised Greco and Gorzeman’s economics teacher, Adler, for providing a rich learning environment for his students and spending time outside of the class day to help them bring classroom lessons to life.

Greco said the class and his participation as president of Poly’s Stock Club, which is full of students who meet once a week to discuss the stock market and financial news, was a way to apply lessons from multiple subjects into a real-life scenario where those lessons could be useful.