PHS Senior Isaac Grude Shows Off Stock Market Skill 
Isaac Grude has a dream of working on Wall Street – he's also got a knack for picking winning stocks

Isaac Grude

If you give $100,000 to an average 18-year-old, you’d be lucky to see it again. But, give it to Perkins High School senior Isaac Grude and you can expect to see a nice return.

As part of Isaac’s Perkins High School Academy Experience, he entered the University of Cincinnati’s Stock Market Game. Think of the game as fantasy football for fledgling stock brokers: Teams get up to $100,000 in virtual money to invest in the stock market; the team with the best return wins.

Isaac, a one-player team, proved quite astute against a field of some 150 teams from high schools across Ohio – he won first place as he turned an investment of $80,670 into $99,476 – a 23 percent short-term gain. (And, for perspective, for the same six-month period, an “above average” return across the market was 17 percent.) His strategy is to hold the stocks long-term and he expects even bigger returns to come.

His primary stock picks were Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., and Skyworks Solutions Inc. They were anything but random. 
Isaac explained that he seized upon deep market reactions to Facebook and Apple in December and foresaw significant rebounds by each company’s share prices. Meanwhile, Skyworks, a developer of semiconductors and 5G technology, has significant ties to Apple and Samsung that had potential for big returns.

Isaac, who has his own small financial portfolio that he manages, has been interested in the stock market since he started high school. He developed the knack for picking stocks by watching Jim Cramer’s “Mad Money” show on CNBC. Isaac dreams of working for one of the investment banks on Wall Street.

He may, however, get that dream sooner rather than later.

Next week, Isaac will be at the University of Cincinnati’s Economic Center, the host of the Stock Market Game. There, he will compete against other top-finishing teams and give a presentation on his investment strategy and the analysis that led to his stock picks.

If Isaac wins that round, he gets an all-expense paid to trip to New York – or, more specifically, Wall Street.

“That would be insane if I won that,” Isaac says.

Isaac credits some of his success to Perkins High School’s Academy Experience, an independent study curriculum. The Academy Experience enabled him to pick his studies for his senior year and customize them for his personal career goals.

“I chose my own learning path,” Isaac says.

His curriculum included maintaining a journal detailing his studies, and what he’s read and what he’s learned. He also met with local brokers, Jeff Wehner, of Edward Jones, and Sean Serna, of Stifel Client Services, for career insight.

Additionally, Isaac had an internship with Express Employment Professionals, where his father, Nathan Grude, works. While it was great working near his father, he admits his career interests lie in the stock market.

“I learned most importantly, I didn’t like the staffing industry,” Isaac says.

And that’s alright. Part of the Academy Experience is to sort out career aspirations.

Perkins High School social studies teacher Tim Obergefell serves as an advisor to Isaac and other Academy Experience students. He explained that Isaac and PHS senior Olivia Weatherly were architects of the Academy Experience and developed it as part of their government class last school year.

“Isaac is an outstanding, intelligent and self motivated student,” Mr. Obergefell said. “His successes are just good karma.”

During the 2019-2020 school year, as part of the Academy Experience, more than 45 PHS students will be entering competitions, interning around Erie County, and researching or taking classes that were previously not offered under our normal curriculum.  

Meantime, this summer, Isaac will be working as a teller at Civista Bank in Sandusky. Next fall, he is off to the University of Dayton, where he aspires to get entry into the Davis Center for Portfolio Management, a coveted program in which undergraduates manage $30 million of the university’s endowment fund.

“What I learned at Perkins will help prepare me for the Davis Center,” Isaac said.

And, given his current trajectory, he has demonstrated he’d do well managing real money.

“I know that if he can continue to get 23% on investments he won’t have a hard time finding a job after graduation,” Mr. Obergefell added. “The sky's the limit for a kid with his work ethic, personality, and leadership skills.”

Fun fact about Isaac: He was the fantasy football champ two years ago in his league with friends. 

Posted by j_stacklin On 18 April, 2019 at 11:38 AM