Saint Margaret student offers financial advice to tennis star Serena Williams, wins essay competition


RUMFORD — Lydia Nassef may still be in middle school, but she knows as much about stocks, bonds and mutual funds as her friends do about emojis and apps — and now she’s offering that winning advice to a famous entrepreneur.

Nassef recommended an investment portfolio for Serena Williams that was so compelling it won her first place in Rhode Island in the SIFMA Foundation’s Fall 2018 InvestWrite® competition. From P/E ratios and ROIs to retirement planning and asset classes, Nassef’s broad knowledge of investing enabled this impressive eighth-grader from Saint Margaret School in Rumford, Rhode Island to climb to the top of the competition in the middle school division in Rhode Island.

InvestWrite is a national essay competition that bridges classroom learning in mathematics, social studies and language arts with the practical research and knowledge required for long-term personal financial planning, enhancing students’ ability across important academic and life skills. The competition serves as a culminating activity for participants in the SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game™ program. Saint Margaret’s team of Allel Azzouz, Sam Chawla, Mason Bouley and Philip Berretto came in first place for R.I. in the Stock Market Game for the Middle School division.

“The SIFMA Foundation honors and congratulates our InvestWrite winner Lydia Nassef and teacher Laura Doliber,” said Melanie Mortimer, president of the SIFMA Foundation. “By making economics fun, interesting and relevant through The Stock Market Game and InvestWrite, we can give students of all backgrounds a better understanding of their personal financial lives, our economy, and the opportunities inherent in the global capital markets.”

The Fall 2018 InvestWrite competition required students to select an entrepreneur they admire, research their company and explain how they would advise the entrepreneur to invest the company’s assets. Nassef highlighted the leadership of Serena Williams. Since InvestWrite’s launch in 2004, almost 229,000 students have submitted essays.

“I admire her because of how humble she is even though she has done so many amazing things,” Nassef wrote in her essay. “If people knew she was dedicated to environmental stewardship, it would make people aware of these kinds of stocks and possibly inspire them to invest in them as well to help make a change in the world.”