DENTON, Texas (UNT) -- Three University of North Texas students are the winners of a nationwide virtual stock trading competition sponsored by TD Ameritrade Inc., a broker-dealer subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (NYSE: AMTD). The GoMeanGreen team outperformed teams from 96 colleges and universities, growing its portfolio by 213.04 percent and a final portfolio value of $1,565,175.83 at the end of four weeks of trading.
The team consisted of three undergraduates from UNT's Student Investment Group: sophomore Mason Hendrickson, 27, a finance major from Muskogee, Oklahoma; sophomore Bao Lam, 19, a finance major from Houston; and sophomore Josue Leija, 19, a finance major from Dallas. A second UNT team finished fourth in the competition.
TD Ameritrade presented each member of the GoMeanGreen team $3,500 deposited into his own TD Ameritrade brokerage account. In addition, TD Ameritrade donated $30,000 to UNT, which will create a fund to benefit the Student Investment Group.
The 2014 thinkorswim Challenge was held from Oct. 12 through Nov. 8 and was open to all students at colleges and universities in the United States. Each of the 245 competing teams started with $500,000 in virtual money to invest using the paperMoney® program on the thinkorswim platform. Prizes were awarded to the three teams whose portfolios had the highest percentage gains in aggregate value at the end of each trading week.
"We're excited for the team from University of North Texas, and we're even more pleased that so many students experienced the markets in real time without fear of failure," said Nicole Sherrod, managing director at TD Ameritrade who heads the firm's young investors program. "The thinkorswim Challenge gave them an opportunity to learn outside of the walls of a traditional classroom, to test their investing ideas and find opportunities amid whatever turn the market takes."
"We are so proud of these three students, who are junior analysts in our Student Investment Group at The University of North Texas," said Marilyn Wiley, senior associate dean of the UNT College of Business. "The dedication and discipline they showed in the thinkorswim Challenge will take them far in their future finance careers. We are honored to receive the school prize from TD Ameritrade, which will help support the activities of the Student Investment Group."
Students from University of California, Fullerton took second place in the overall competition, and third place went to Suffolk University.
TD Ameritrade's most recent Generation Z survey revealed that only 17 percent of individuals ages 15-24 believe that the best way to save for retirement is through investing in the stock market. Nearly half (47 percent) consider a savings account the best way to prepare for retirement. Forty-two percent have never taken a class about investing.
"We want Gen Z to have the right financial tools and education so they can be confident investors in this entity called 'the stock market'," said Sherrod. "The thinkorswim Challenge is an engaging way to learn very real lessons about investing, and we look forward to having even more students participate next year."
For more information about TD Ameritrade U or the thinkorswim Challenge, including the official rules regarding eligibility and prizes, visit www.tdameritradeu.com or www.thinkorswimchallenge.com. You can also follow TD Ameritrade U, @TDameritradeu or join conversations about the most recent thinkorswim Challenge using #TOSchallenge.