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Cookstown High School, Cookstown

Student Investor Challenge – Cookstown High School only NI school to progress to the semi-final

13th Feb 2019

For a team from Cookstown High School getting to the semi-final of Student Investor Challenge, a competition run throughout the UK, was a superb performance made all the more impressive considering over 5800 teams entered. 

We were given the opportunity to take part in the UK's premier investment competition for students in October.  The top prize was a trip to New York and on top of that, winning team members would get prize money to spend as well! There were also other prizes on offer throughout the event.

According to Callum, Jack, Robert and John, year 14 students from Cookstown High School, being placed in the top 25 of almost 6000 schools throughout the United Kingdom in the UK Schools Student Investor Challenge - which involves trading many short term and long term investments in the FTSE 100 companies -is unreal.

“We managed a profit of over £40,000 from an initial investment of £100,000. We achieved this by doing extensive research on each company and looking at their previous share price. Sometimes this did not work out however, and we had to quickly to cut our losses and sell losing shares.  EasyJet was our best long term investment achieving a 14% increase, making a profit of over £6500.  Having now progressed to the semi-final which starts on the 18th February for a month will be another challenge on its own but we would love to be in with the chance of winning a week-long trip to New York.”

What does the challenge involve?

The Student Investor Challenge is designed for teams of four students and has three rounds. The competition is open to teams from anywhere in the world.

Round One – 15 October 2018 to 25 January 2019

Teams invested their virtual money in a set of stocks and other investment instruments and they had to create two portfolios:

  • The Active Investor portfolio allowed teams to trade every day. Each month, the team with the most improved Active Investor portfolio was rewarded with a prize.
  • The Strategic Investor portfolio only allowed a limited number of trades per month, encouraging long term thinking.

Teams had a virtual £100,000 to invest in each portfolio. Teams were strongly advised to invest the full amount of cash they had at all times, as teams keeping more than £15,000 in cash in either portfolio were subject to a daily Windfall Tax of £1,000.

Over 5800 teams entered this year’s challenge and therefore it was a great achievement for one Cookstown High School team to make it to the top 25 in the competition.

The next stage- Semi-finals – 18 February 2019 to 15 March 2019

A total of 500 teams from UK schools will compete against each other in a four week online semi-final from 18 February 2019 to 15 March 2019.

The semi-finalists will be selected as follows:

  • First, the top 250 teams based on combined performance of their Active Investor and Strategic Investor portfolios will make it through.
  • Next, with these teams discounted, the top 100 teams based solely on their Active Investor performance.
  • Then, the top 100 teams based solely on their Strategic Investor performance.
  • Finally, the 50 best performing teams based on percentage portfolio gain of their Active Investor portfolio in January 2019. For each week of the semi-finals, teams will need to correctly predict the closing price of certain assets by the end of trading on that Friday. Points will be awarded each week according to how accurately the closing price has been predicted and how long the prediction has been held. A team's overall score at the end of the semi-finals is the sum of their best three week's performance out of four (i.e. their worst performing week is discounted).

Semi-finals rules

Finals – 3 May 2019

The eight best performing teams from the semi-finals will be invited to the live national final. The finalists will take part in a number of business challenges and the winning team will receive a trip to New York!