December 10th, 2021

High School Resource: Financial Markets and Planning

High School Resource

Financial Markets and Planning


In this activity, students will gain valuable life skills in financial markets and planning as they develop an awareness of the United States economy.


  • Teacher, financial planner, financial reporter, or representative from the business school of a local university speaks to the class on the importance of understanding the financial markets and developing a financial plan for the future.
  • Students are presented with definitions and information regarding:
    • Credit and credit ratings
    • Standard & Poor’s 500
    • Mutual funds
    • Insurance
    • Savings
    • Interest Rates (both borrowing and investing)
    • The Dow Jones industrial average
  • Teacher or speaker explains the financial advantages/disadvantages, and relative risks, of the different investment formats, and discusses the difference between long-term and short-term investment.
  • Students access numerous, related websites and various resources (e.g., magazines, newspapers) reinforcing definitions previously discussed.
  • Students are taught how to invest and how to check on gains or losses.
  • Each student is “given” a set amount of money to invest and develops a financial plan. The status of each student’s account is checked weekly, and each student maintains a spreadsheet of his “investments.”
  • At the end of the semester or year, each student reevaluates his/her plan and has the opportunity to make adjustments.
  • Each student submits a report of the gains/losses and explains why adjustments were made.
  • Students discuss insights they gained from the experience.

Related NY State Academic Standards: RH.9-10.2, RH.11-12.2, WST.9-10.6, and more!

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