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Frequently Asked Questions

Throughout the years, EconomicsWisconsin has compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding the Stock Market Simulation.  Please use this guide as a starting point to answer any of your Stock Market Simulation questions.  Please feel free to email EconomicsWisconsin's SMS Help Desk for any further clarifications or questions you may have.

How much class time does it take?

It takes three or four class periods to introduce students to the SMS, which can be started before the game officially begins. Once the game starts, students have the opportunity to post trades as often as they like. Because students have access to their online portfolios 24 hours a day, seven days a week from any computer with internet access, teachers have the flexibility of choosing how much or how little class time is devoted to the program.

How is the SMS program integrated into core subjects?

The SMS can be adjusted to suit any teacher's needs. The flexibility of the program allows teachers to use it with a variety of subjects including: Social Studies, Math, Business, Technology, Family/Consumer Sciences, and Economics. It can be integrated into regular classrooms, school clubs, after school programs, and gifted and talented programs.

The website the students use to play the SMS helps students make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. It allows them to reason abstractly and quantitatively, construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others and model with mathematics. The Wisconsin Foundations for Mathematics states that " Mathematics should be experienced as coherent, connected, intrinsically interesting, and relevant." The SMS website is an engaging, real-life application of mathematics, including charts and graphs. More information can be found on the DPI website:

Is the Curriculum aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)?

Yes, Learning, Earning, and Investing - for a New Generation, published by the Council for Economic Education (CEE - the national council based in New York), has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards. The alignment connects CEE content to ELA of the CCSS. Downloadable resources for print and Smart Boards or overhead projectors are also available on the CEE website.

See more at:

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Does the program help me meet learning standards?

Learning, Earning and Investing (LEI), the free curriculum available to all Wisconsin SMS teachers, has been correlated to Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Lessons have been classroom-tested and reviewed by teachers, economic educators and economists. LEI is correlated to:

  • National Standards in Personal Finance
  • Principles and Standards for School Mathematics
  • Voluntary National Content Standards in Economics

 Proven Results:

  • The first Nation's Report Card on Economics, released in 2007, found that students participating in a stock market game scored a statistically significant higher score on standardized tests than students who had not participated.
  • In six consecutive reports over a 12 year period, the biannual survey by the Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy found that students that participated in a stock market game score higher on the Jump$tart financial literacy survey than students that did not participate.

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What level of investment knowledge is required?

The SMS program is designed so students and teachers learn as they go; therefore, minimal knowledge about investing is needed. In fact, SMS serves as a valuable tool to learn basic investing skills.

The Wisconsin SMS help desk is here to help if you have any question about investing concepts or need assistance in locating lesson plans to help your students improve their financial future.

If you are new to investing and are hesitant to offer the SMS to your students, we offer free teacher training programs to teach you the basics of saving and investing and tips to help you get started using the SMS in your classroom.

SMS teachers often work with a volunteer from a local investment firm to help them get started. Contact your local investment firm to request a volunteer to speak to your class about the basics of savings and investing or other topics of interest.

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How do I get started?

Simply register you teams online. You will receive an email with usernames and passwords. Please check your junk mail folder if you do not receive them within 2 days of registering. No payment is necessary upon registration. An invoice will be mailed to you.
We offer free teacher training workshop (either online or in person) for those who wish to participate.

The following resources will help you get started:

  1. SMS Teacher Kit - Everything a first time teacher needs to know to get started

  2. Economics Wisconsin's Online Guide - Lessons organized by standards correlations

  3. Learning Earning and Investing Curriculum and web site - Access Power Points and visuals that accompany the lesson on LEI's web site. Power Points are located under the Lesson Resources button.

Other Useful Resources: 

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How do my students make trades?

Trades are made via the SMS web site. Students can gain access to accounts on our web site 24 hours a day, seven days a week to review account activity, review class rankings, and research stocks.

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What types of resources are provided?

We provide a flexible curriculum that can stand alone or supplement your existing curriculum. Free teacher training is available to help you make the stock market a real and understandable piece of your economic knowledge. Online training is available year round or attend a face-to-face session held each January and September. If you need help finding the funds to participate, contact us to find out how we can help.

Free Teacher Training Workshop: Provide teachers with hands on experience with the SMS.

Help Desk: A live help desk is available to answer your questions and assist you in any way. You can also email any questions.

Free Curriculum: Teachers who participate in the SMS receive a free copy of Learning, Earning, and Investing. (Limit one copy per teacher). Curriculum material is also available in the resource section of this web site.

Local Volunteers: SMS teachers often work with a volunteer from a local investment firm to help them get started. Contact your local investment firm to request a volunteer to speak to your class about the basics of savings and investing or other topics of interest.

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What type of training is provided?

The Wisconsin Stock Market Simulation is available to all public, private, and home schools in Wisconsin. Workshops are located throughout the state in each fall and winter. Workshops are free of charge and include a complimentary lunch. Registration is required at least one week in advance. Online training is also available.

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What is the cost to participate?

10 Week Stock Market Simulation:
There is a fee of $25 fee per team for the 10 week games. SMS teams are generally comprised of one to five students. While larger teams are allowed to participate, Economics Wisconsin limits prizes and awards to five students per team. If you need assistance, we do have different funding options available.

School Year Challenge (Oct. - April): There is a fee of $40 per team. Teams are generally comprised of one to five students. While larger teams are allowed to participate, Economics Wisconsin limits prizes and awards to five students per team.

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What sets us apart from other stock market games?

  • Teams compete against other Wisconsin schools for a cash prize

  • We offer awards including T-shirts, certificates, and medals and recognize winning teachers and students at awards banquets.

  • The Stock Market Simulation provide students access to a safe and secure site. Other free simulations include message boards where students can interact and communicate with adults and anyone else who chooses to use the site. The Wisconsin SMS site is limited to registered teachers and their students. All accounts can be tracked to a Wisconsin school and teacher so they are safe for student use.

  • The Stock Market Simulation offers a live and local help desk .We're here to answer any questions whether it be a question about your portfolio, the rules, or if you are looking for resources to help explain concepts such as short selling or buying on margin. Many other sites offer little or no support.

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Is there funding available?

Funding may be available to help schools in need. Contact EconomicsWisconsin to request funds. Please include your name, the name of your school and the number of teams that you would like to register.

You may also wish to contact area businesses to ask for their support. We have composed a letter to help guide you in the process.

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Who sponsors the Stock Market Simulation?

Robert W. Baird RBC Wealth Management

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When you sign up with the Wisconsin Stock Market Simulation and/or the SMS Online Workshop, you automatically opt in to receive regular email updates about Economics Wisconsin's workshops, programs, special offers and more. You may opt out at any time. Simply click on the unsubscribe link that is found at the bottom of each email. Please note: We do not sell, rent, lease or disclose information that identifies you individually or makes it possible for other parties to contact you directly. 

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