For #TeamloanDepot, giving back to the communities we serve is an important part of our DNA. In October alone, #TeamloanDepot participated in local Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation walks; raised funds to support breast cancer research; and raised money to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

loanDepot is also highly engaged in promoting financial literacy at every age. That’s why we are active sponsors of Junior Achievement, a national non-profit that helps prepare children grades K-12 succeed in the real world by delivering educational programs that address topics related to work readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

On Thursday, Oct. 22nd, four of our stock market super stars, Chad Hansen, Josh Ivy, Travis Ivy and Shawn Way, took the JA Stock Market Challenge, competing against other Orange County- and Los Angeles-area companies to see who could create the most successful portfolio.

Led by Team Captain Shawn Way, #TeamloanDepot took a strong start at opening bell, with #TeamloanDepot’s portfolio outperforming the likes of Wells Fargo and Union Bank. To get an idea of the intensity of this fast-paced event, 60 days of trading are covered in a 2 ½-hour timeframe.

Junior Achievement Event“It was extremely cool,” says Way. “It was pretty realistic and very fast-paced. Plus, the host was really interactive with us. I’m willing to do it again.”

Way, who has experience as a day trader, says that the experience was extremely true-to-life. The team started with $500,000 in fictitious stock, and competed in teams of four to see who could earn the highest net worth and the highest return on investment. Throughout the evening, runners would toss “hot tips” and “news releases” on the tables to give the teams insights into what they might want to buy or sell.

“I’ve never been on the stock exchange floor,” says Chief Culture Officer Casey Horton. “But they did a great job mimicking the experience. It was a ticker tape parade when we left.”

As to strategy, Way adds: “We didn’t go in it with a specific strategy, but they did try to make it like the real stock market. The stocks were very similar to real stocks that I am familiar with, so we applied real-market logic to our purchases.”

Competing against the likes of Experian Consumer Services, US Bank, Wells Fargo, Comerica, AT&T and BridgeBank, #TeamloanDepot kept an eye on the ticker and watched their performance against the competition on three big screens stationed in the front of the room.

“When you wanted to buy or sell, you needed to find a trader,” adds Horton. “There were only 10 traders on the floor, so you had to really move if you wanted to dump a stock or buy additional shares. The atmosphere created the intensity of what it would be like to be on the stock floor.”

At the end of the evening, #TeamloanDepot finished fourth out of the 43 teams participating.

“We’re going back again next year,” adds Way. “And we’re going to win.”

Way to go, #TeamloanDepot! Thank you for helping JA and for demonstrating that when we aren’t working hard for responsible borrowers, we’re playing hard to help children learn financial responsibility.