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Pleasanton Virtual Academy third grader Da-Ni Lin recently won the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Foundation Virtual Stock Market Game.

Though he competed in the elementary level, 8-year-old Da-Ni’s earnings exceeded all other participants in the Bay Area, increasing his initial virtual investment of $100,000 to $134,733.52. He beat competitors in middle and high schools all over the Bay Area.

“I really enjoyed this game, and I really had a lot of fun with it,” Da-Ni said. “I was really glad I got to join and participate in this game. I didn’t really look at the scores or think about the scores, I just paid attention to my stocks and what I was making.”

As part of the game, Da-Ni was given an account with 100,000 virtual dollars. It was up to him to research real-world companies and market trends and decide where to invest his money. Some of his biggest earnings came from stocks like Truth Social – Donald Trump’s social media platform – Tesla and Zillow.

“Students follow current events and global news impacting the financial markets and place trades in real time online via computer or the SMG smartphone app,” SIFMA’s press release stated. “Students have the ability to participate in socially responsible investing by selecting companies that have been determined to be in alignment with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.”

The game teaches real-world investment skills and strategies and can translate to students setting and meeting financial goals at a young age. Da-Ni has always been homeschooled and previously took classes in stock market skills before participating in this game. He said he is ready and willing to test his skills in the real world.

“I definitely am ready to go into the stock market for real,” he said. “Me and my sister started this business called ‘Storytelling for Acting,’ and it’s on YouTube, and we just want to reach our dreams.”

SIFMA is a trade association for broker-dealers, investment banks and asset managers operating in the U.S. and global capital markets. It advocates on legislation, regulation and business policy, affecting retail and institutional investors, equity and fixed income markets and related products and services.

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