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Benia Wins Lander College Stock Market Challenge

Three Out of Four for the Psych Major

January 15, 2014

The bi-annual contest, organized over the fall semester by Lander Investment Club members Avraham Weiser and Shlomi Landesman, is an opportunity for everyone at LCM to try their hand at investing like a real-time stock trader. Each of the 45 entries received a "$1 million" credit to invest as they see fit, within certain restrictions (can't buy penny stocks or stocks under $3; can only invest a maximum of 20 percent of credit into one company). If it's available on the New York Stock Exchange, it's fair game, at least during the market hours of 9 A.M. to 5 P.M.

Most members of the Investment Club, like Benia, are not finance majors.  Weiser said this reinforces one of the goals of the contest, to demonstrate that investing isn't just for the fast-moving bankers and brokers.

"The point is to get rid of the scariness of investing and get people comfortable with the process," said Weiser, himself a marketing major and the lone investor to unseat Benia in the last four contests. "We want to create an interest in learning about companies and teach people to look at them from a financial point of view."

Benia was presented with $100 at the award ceremony, a far cry from the $1 million credit. But with a 28 percent return, it shouldn't take him long to add four more zeroes to the prize money.