Stocks and Shares

This task provides a simple introduction to the stock market. Students calculate the new prices for a variety of fictional shares based on daily percentage changes. This material can be used for a stand-alone lesson, but can also be used to introduce the basic concepts of the stock market before starting learners on a more realistic stock market simulation exercise, as described in ‘Suggested approaches’ below.

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Prior knowledge

This task requires little more than the ability to calculate simple percentage changes. Students with experience of using spreadsheets could use these to record their results; alternatively, this exercise might provide a good opportunity to introduce spreadsheets. The suggested extension could involve more complicated calculations involving dealing costs, exchange rates, etc.

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Relevance to Core Maths qualifications

  • AQA
  • C&G
  • Eduqas
  • Pearson/ Edexcel
  • OCR

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Suggested approaches

The activity presented here is suitable for a whole-class introduction.

  • Students could work in pairs or small groups to make decisions about stock purchases and sales, and to carry out and record the required calculations.
  • Following this, you could extend the task by asking students to carry out their own simulation using real share prices.
  • For example, you could set a budget of £10, 000 and ask teams of students to select companies to invest in. They could record their portfolios using any of the many available online tools (e.g. https://uk.finance.yahoo.com), and produce a report after a few weeks describing the performance of their portfolios (perhaps compared to a market index).
  • Tracking a realistic portfolio in this way could form the basis for a good homework assignment.

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Resources

The PowerPoint presentation ‘Stocks and shares’ should be used as a whole-class introduction. It includes extensive notes and further suggestions on using the materials in class, including advice on developing a more substantial activity based on the same theme.

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Acknowledgement

These materials were originally developed by Tom Carpenter.