D.C. 5th Grader Finds Alpha in Portfolio & in Life, Wins SIFMA Foundation’s InvestWrite® Competition

Date: 6/23/21

Channing Jamison’s Fourth Place Essay Wins SIFMA Foundation’s Spring 2021 National InvestWrite® Competition
Surprise Celebration for Jamison on June 16, 2021



New York, NY, June 16, 2021
– We could all learn something from 11-year-old Channing Jamison. The extraordinary fifth-grader from Washington, D.C. has charted his life goals and developed an investment strategy to fund them. Moreover, Jamison developed his plan in the months that a pandemic created unprecedented challenges for his family and school life.  For his brilliance and hard work, Jamison cinched an exhilarating win in the SIFMA Foundation’s Spring 2021 InvestWrite competition.

Beating out thousands of other students around the country competing in the elementary school division, Jamison, who attends DC Bilingual Public Charter School, researched and composed an impressive short-term and long-term financial plan and now he is being recognized nationally.

SIFMA Foundation’s InvestWrite national essay competition bridges classroom learning in math, social studies, and language arts with the practical research and knowledge required for saving, investing and long-term planning. It also serves as a culminating activity for The Stock Market Game a highly effective in-person, remote learning and hybrid educational tool in which students invest and manage a hypothetical $100,000 online portfolio of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and cash. 

“SIFMA Foundation’s programs provide youth of all backgrounds and especially in underserved communities the knowledge and tools for financial independence,” said Melanie Mortimer, President of the SIFMA Foundation. “We equip teachers to bring investor education into classrooms and prepare young people early in life to navigate the capital markets and financial decision-making. To date, we’ve transformed the lives of 20 million students like Channing through learning that is practical and fun.”

The Spring 2021 InvestWrite competition challenged students to write an essay about what is important for their future. They did research to determine how they would invest in the short run and in the long term to benefit themselves and others and how stocks, bonds or mutual funds can be combined to create a successful diversified portfolio.

Jamison developed a plan that would have an impact today and into the future and wowed the team of judges with his essay.

Channing Jamison and his teacher, Catherine Currie, will be honored by the SIFMA Foundation in a surprise presentation during commencement ceremonies to be held at the school on June 16, 2021.

Winning Essay by Channing Jamison

The Best Way to Invest

Tons of debt for college and working until 60, what are you going to do!? You are going to invest! Investing is a way you can make money by doing nothing. It’s a way you can make your money work for you by having it grow from companies. In 2020 more than half of the adults in the U.S. invested in the stock market and it has continued at that rate from then to 2021. Many people rely on investing to make money to pay off their homes, student loans, and everyday essentials. In investing there are companies, shares, and share prices. When investing in a short-term goal, diversifying is important. However, when investing in the long term, you can be more aggressive since your investments will be over a longer period of time.

While investing you should focus on two things: a short-term and long-term goal. As a short-term goal, I am investing for college right now. This will help me raise my profits so when I reach my goal for college, I won’t have any debt and it will be easier to invest for my long-term goal which is early retirement. Right now, all my family is investing, my mom, dad, sister, and me. My mom and dad’s long-term goal is to retire by forty-five. My sister and I are investing too. We are investing for the short term right now. That’s why we only have a few index funds. I also have a Roth IRA which is a savings account for retirement which I can put earned money into.

Investing is important in modern life. Most people must work for over 40 years! That means a lot of late nights and no sleep. A lot of people have to go through this, but investing can make those working days disappear. The benefits of investing are amazing because it’s such an easy way to make money. The benefits of investing are earlier retirement, and not having to worry about bills being overdue. Investing helps people that have to work at the minimum wage. This will help every person on the planet be able to make money with whatever amount of money they have and use it to work for them.

While investing $100,000, I would use most of the money on stocks. Diversifying in stocks allows you to choose your own companies that will help you achieve your goals. The article “5 Smart Ways to Invest $100,000 And Minimize Risk” says, “Stocks offer some of the best diversification for your portfolio. Not only can you get exposure to nearly every industry in the world, but stocks have historically been proven to provide one of the best returns on investment.” This shows that stocks are what most of your portfolio should contain and that they should be the main investment you make for the long term. At this time of uncertainty there are many stocks that would be the right fit, like Disney. You might think that the company is falling during the pandemic because of the resorts, but it’s not. The amazing thing about companies is they have brands. For example, Disney has ESPN. And with sports starting up again this stock should earn good profit. Even in the long term, sports companies would be great investments because sports will be here for a long time.

You could also use mutual funds and ETFs in your portfolio. In the previous article it also explains, “Mutual funds and ETFs are basically baskets of stocks, pre-bundled for you, so you can make a single investment and get instant diversification. The difference is how they’re put together, managed, and sold.” This explains that ETFs and mutual funds are great for your short-term investments because you want to be more secure. A good one of these investments is the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF. This stock has had an average annual return of 16% for the S&P 500. You can also use bonds. My mom has told me, “Bonds are a small investment that you would only make when you want to have lower risk but not as much profit either.” My dad is invested in some bonds. However, my mom has more index funds and individual stocks. Bonds should be a smaller part of your portfolio when investing because they don’t provide as many returns. That is how I would diversify my portfolio of $100,000 in the stock market. Are you ready to invest?!