The course requirements for Business Principles include a writing assignment worth 100 points or 25% of your course grade. Please read and follow these instructions to the letter. Failure to meet the project requirements will result in a lower grade.
WARNING: This assignment should not be confused with any Stock Market Game found on the publisher’s or any other website. The project requirements are specifically stated below.
Pretend that you have $100,000 to invest in the stock market. Pick any listed U.S. corporation to invest in and then track the performance of your investment for a 10 week holding period during the semester. (Note: If you are enrolled in a summer term, you should follow your stock for a holding period that approximates the shorter class term.) At the end of the holding period sell your stock and report on how your investment performed. You need to start your project the first week of the semester.
The following guidelines apply for the stock project:
- Select only one company’s stock to follow. Your company must be listed on a well-known stock exchange. (Do this the first week of the semester.)
- Select one well-known stock market index to follow. If you do not know the definition of a stock market index then you will need to research the term. The link to Stock Market Basics is a good place to start. Failing to identify and follow a stock index is a frequent error in submitted projects and will result in a lower grade. (Do this the first week of the semester.)
- All of your stock is to be purchased and held for the entire holding period, i.e., you are not to buy and sell the stock during the period nor sell early.
- Make your purchase in round lots. (You will need to research the definition of “round lot.”)
- Record the daily closing price of your stock and your index for each day the stock market is open during the holding period, include the stock price, index amount, date, and source of the information. (Start your table during the first week of the semester.)
- All papers must be typed using a word processor, no handwritten submissions are allowed.
- Important. Your paper must be in the form of an MSWord .doc or .docx file. (.pdf files are not acceptable). If you use Open Office or another word processor program instead of MSWord you must rename your file as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file before submitting it. Your file must be named as follows: “[Your Name] [Your Section Number] Stock Project”, e.g. John Doe WW2 Stock Project.docx, and attached to an email. The subject line of the email must have your name, section number and the words “Stock Project”, e.g. John Doe WW2 Stock Project.
- You must submit your entire project in one file only. If you use more than one program, e.g. Word and Excel, to do different parts of the project, you will need to paste all your information into your Word file. Submitting more than one file will result in your project being returned to you to be done correctly.
- Your completed project must be emailed to me by the due date. Do not upload your file using Canvas. If you used a cloud version of Office to prepare your project you must download your file from the Cloud and attach it to your email. The college requires that I keep a copy of your work on my computer. Do not just send a url.
- Keep a copy of your stock project in case you need to resend it.
Your final typed report should be presented in the following order:
- A project title and your personal information including name, course and section number, e.g. John Doe BUSI1301.WS1, followed by an introduction that includes:
- a brief description of your company
- your reasons for choosing your company
- An overview of the company. (This information must be presented in an alphabetical bullet list format similar to the list below, use only the a,b,c… format, not numbers nor bullet points alone.)
- state of incorporation (This is not necessarily where the company’s headquarters is located.)
- p/e ratio
- market capitalization
- ticker symbol
- products and services
- NAICS or SIC category
- geographical markets
- customers (List the types of customers not specific names.)
- financial condition summary (This your analysis of the strength of the company’s finances; just copying financial figures from the company report or other source without indicating what they mean will not fulfill this requirement.)
- management style
- key personnel (positions and names)
- any other information you think might be relevant to determining your company’s future potential
- at least one stock analyst’s rating of your stock, including the rating and the source
- the stock exchange where your stock is listed
- A single graph showing your daily closing prices and one well-known stock market index. The graph must cover the time period you held your stock and be clearly labeled. (Failure to include your index in your graph is one of the most common omissions in student projects and will result in points being deducted.) There are numerous ways to create a single graph to show both sets of information. Coming up with this graph is a specific exercise in using your creativity for business.
- A summary of important news about your company that was reported during the holding period, including the date the news was reported and naming its source. The names and dates of your news sources must appear in this section. Sources must be external to your company.
- A detailed calculation of your 1.) overall profit or loss and 2.) return on investment. In making these calculations you must include the cost of commissions for buying and selling the stock (Use a commission schedule from any stockbroker, i.e., Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, etc.) and the tax cost. For the tax cost assume a 20% tax rate. Don’t forget any dividends. This calculation should show mathematically how your amounts were arrived at. Each step in the calculation should be shown and labeled. Return on Investment is a simple formula that can be easily found online. Knowing how to calculate profit or loss in business is crucial, effectively presenting your calculations to others is likewise an important business skill.
- Your opinion as to why your stock performed as it did during the holding period.
- The actual table used to record 1. your daily stock price and 2. your market index number, with prices and dates clearly labeled.
- A bibliography of all sources, including electronic sources. Non-attribution of copied sources will cost you points. The format of your bibliography is up to you so long as you provide enough information that I can verify your sources.
- Your presentation should be professional. Points are given for the overall quality of your project’s presentation. Likewise, points may be deducted for poor, unclear, or sloppy presentation, including failure to present your project in the above-described order.
The final report is due no later than the date set in the Course Calendar.
NEED HELP: Part of the point of this project is for you to research the various terms and concepts necessary to complete the project using the internet and other resources. Some of the project terms are not included in the textbook, but are readily found in other easily accessed materials. When in doubt search using your company name and the term you are looking for. (Example: “Walmart p/e ratio”) The internet contains volumes of financial information. You can simply search under your stock’s name or go to any website that gives out market index information, e.g. yahoo, msn, fnn, cnn, any brokerage firm website, etc. For those of you with no background at all in the stock market you may want to go to Stock Market Basics and take a look at the power point to get you started. You can access the College library online at http://collin.libguides.com/anywhere. If you have are having problems with sources or understanding how to do any phase of the project, email me for help.