Japanese students show business savvy

Move over, Wall Street — students from Japan recently showed off their investment knowledge at Greenwich High School in an event hosted by the school’s Business Education Department.

The school hosted the winning team of the Japanese Nikkei Stock League 2013, which is comprised of five students from the Ochanomizu University Senior High School in Tokyo.

The annual contest draws student teams from junior high school to the university level to further their knowledge of economics, investments, entrepreneurship and finance. In the past decade the contest has attracted more than 80,000 students from all parts of Japan. The winning team got the opportunity to visit leading business and educational facilities in the US, including a tour of GHS, a question-and-answer session with GHS students and an observation of business classes.

This is the third year that GHS has been selected for the purpose of exchanging opinions with educators and students about investment and asset management education as well as comparing the US and Japanese approach to business education. In 2008 the school hosted the winning team from the Komaba Senior High School in Tokyo and in 2007 GHS was host to students from the Oita Information Science High School from Oita City, Japan.

Students in the Greenwich High School investment classes participate in the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) sponsored Stock Market Game, which gives students the chance to invest a hypothetical $100,000 in a real-time portfolio. For the past several years, Greenwich students have been recognized for their award-winning successes. A staff writer from the Nikkei Financial Newspaper visited a Greenwich High School investment class in 2006 and subsequently wrote about US education practices in investment curricula.

The GHS investment course is more akin to a college-level course covering stocks, mutual funds, bonds and other securities. The school benefits from being located in a community with the highest concentration of investment management and hedge fund activity in the world.

“We are able to draw on the expertise of many of our local citizens to enhance our curriculum,” noted Greenwich High School Business educator Jan Reid.

The Greenwich High School Business Education Department provides a comprehensive curriculum in academic and computer skills, including accounting and honors advanced accounting, business law, entrepreneurship, investments, personal finance, marketing and advanced marketing. Courses are based on the National Business Education Association curriculum standards.

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