"It's All About The Game"
Shock Exchange Teaching Picks – of the Stock and Hoops variety
Ron Bailey, Publisher
November 20, 2007 – In September of 2005, Ralph Baker, Jr had a brainstorm, to use young people’s love of basketball to expose them to what many call another game - one in which people can play their entire lives, and with skill and some luck, create a great income for themselves – the stock market.
“I was thinking, a lot of these kids think they are hustlers, and what better way to be a true hustler then have your money work for you” recently said Baker, an insurance professional with vast stock market experience, via telephone. “You basically have a lot of ideas, why not make your money work for you”?
With that in mind, the New York Shock Exchange was born: A Brooklyn, NY based traveling youth hoops organization that started with young people ranging from third to seventh grade, the Shock not only teach basketball fundamentals, but also those of the stock market, including analysis and tracking.
To make the stock exercise relevant and exciting, “Why else do it if it’s not real” said Baker, he put up several hundred dollars of his own money as seed cash, gathered the youngsters, and guided them in choosing securities.
“We looked at the price earnings ratio and expected earnings growth rate” recalled Baker. “The kids picked a number of stocks, based on what they thought were hot companies at the time”. In the end, his charges selected Apple and Game Stop. Also entering the fray was Baker, who selected Phoenix Insurance.
To his good natured dismay, a year later, the young folks bested his picks, by a lot. “Apple grew 112%, and Game Stop 82%” laughed Baker. “Mine finished at -1%”.
Such performance should not be viewed as an anomaly, as young people drive many trends in this country, hence are positioned to identify and take advantage of them on the stock market, a fact readily conceded by Baker.
His personal experience in business and sports, has prepared Baker to teach both to the Shock. Hailing from Prince Edward County, VA, Baker was a NCAA Division III All-American who played and graduated from Hampden-Sydney in 1989 with a degree in Economics.
His coach at the time, now leading William and Mary, Tony Shaver, remarked after that team’s recent game with Georgetown “I was lucky to have coached Baker as a young coach. He was a sophomore my first year there, and led our team. Being a self-made player, through hard work he ended up a Division III All-American”.
“I was a little guy, in a big man’s game” said Baker of his penchant for putting his nose to the proverbial grindstone. “I had to work twice as hard”.
That continued at the University of Virginia, where a MBA was earned. From there, it was off to the business world.
On the hardwood, the Shock stress development through the game’s fundamentals, an approach that will benefit them in all future hoops endeavors. Last travel team/AAU season, the effects of that tutelage were obvious, as according to Baker the organization participated “in a number of outdoor tournaments in Brooklyn”, as well as other New York area confabs, making several championship games.
“The kids got a lot better” said Baker of their growth. Next season, tournaments in Atlantic City, NJ and other locales will be on the schedule, as will their own tourney, The Shock Exchange Comes To Harlem: Occurring March 21st of next year, the Shock welcome age groups 10 and under through 16 and under to CUNY in Harlem. Check out the link above for details.
“We focus on where a kid starts, and where a kid ends up” shared Baker of the Shock’s mission. “I’m happy where we are”.
If interested parents/guardians/coaches want their young people involved with the Shock, email Baker at email@example.com.
It’s an opportunity that’s rare, and should be acted upon
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