Students at this high school are learning to invest with real money

The Gray Bee Investors researching potential investments during a recent meeting.

Mike Scanlan

There’s real money on the line for the investing club at St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, New Jersey.

This year, the Gray Bee Investors club — made up of about 15 high school students — is helping make investing decisions for the Grossman Family Student Investment Fund, which was established through a $100,000 gift to the school from the Grossman Family Foundation.

Grossman decided to give the school the money to bolster the personal finance education offered.

“Everybody spends money, has checkbooks, debit cards and credit cards but most people don’t understand the nuances of saving and investing and having a budget,” said Steven Grossman, a philanthropist and founder of the Grossman Family Foundation. “It starts with giving them a very basic education about personal finances and then they can get more into the details of investing.”

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The money is currently invested in a broad-based S&P 500 Index fund. The students in the club decide what they’d like to invest in and after a vote, sell off part of the money to buy the assets they suggested.

“It’s more serious than before, but it’s still fun to be learning,” said Guitze Rodriguez, 17, a senior at St. Benedict’s and the chairman of the investing club.

Connecting students with alumni working in finance

Gray Bee Investors was established in 2020 by Mike Scanlan, the dean of administration at St. Benedict’s.

In the club’s first year, during the height of the pandemic, the group met on video calls twice a week to learn the basics of personal finance and investing and meet with a range of alumni volunteers. They also played a stock market game together.

Connecting current students with alumni working in finance was one of the benefits of…

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