RHS finance student wins two national competitions

Tom Lombardozzi, a finance student at Ridgefield High School and president of the school’s Investment Club president, placed first in the country in the InvestWrite essay competition.  

As a result of his first place finish, Lombardozzi and his finance teacher, Jesse Peterkin, won a two-night trip to New York City with an invite to NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange.

Elizabeth Reidel, national director of the Stock Market Game Program, visited RHS on Friday, May 11, to surprise Lombardozzi and his finance class with the exciting news.  

The RHS senior is among the 20,000 participants each year in InvestWrite. The spring 2018 InvestWrite competition required students to select a company they think would be a good place to work and to outline a financial plan to sustain the financial future of the organization.  Lombardozzi’s wrote his essay on how to help Bridgewater Partners manage its assets for maximum short-and long-term sustainability, and why he would like to work there.

Lombardozzi writes, “I believe that Bridgewater should allocate at least 10% of their assets under management into a portfolio that mainly focuses on a diverse dividend ETF reinvestment strategy or DRIP (Dividend Reinvestment Program).

“I believe that this is one of the few hidden gem investment strategies,” he added. With the right analysts and research, this strategy could provide returns of 100% or more over a 10-year period.”

This was Lombardozzi’s second national win in as many weeks. He was awarded a scholarship from the Next Generation Personal Finance Payback Challenge. This essay contest attracted submissions from students in all 50 states. Two winners from each state were selected for the scholarship.

After playing the interactive simulation, Payback, students wrote a 250-word essay with the following prompt: “How could you use the online game, Payback, to have a conversation with your parent/guardian about paying for college?”

“As soon as I start earning a paycheck I would immediately take 50% out of every paycheck I make, 40% would go to ‘need’ savings, 10% would go to ‘want’ savings,” Lombardozzi wrote in his winning Payback essay. “This saving money will be allocated into a diverse portfolio built of bonds, high-dividend stocks, and low-expense ETFs. I hope that this systems helps earn between 5-10% each year so that way by the time I’m in college I can contribute to my expenses.”

InvestWrite is a national essay competition that serves as a culminating activity for students taking part in the SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game. Now in its 15th year, InvestWrite is underwritten by Wells Fargo for the SIFMA Foundation. Ridgefield High School students taking personal finance and members of the school's investment club compete in the Stock Market Game and InvestWrite essay competition throughout the school year.

The Payback challenge is played by RHS finance students and promotes students to consider the return on investment (ROI) with their choice of college. The challenge also encourages students to have conversations with their parents about responsibly managing expenses while attending college.