Bang for your buck: A new generation of savvy investors hits the financial mark

Bang for your buck: A new generation of savvy investors hits the financial mark
JSE marketing director Vuyo Lee (left) presents the cheque to the boys from Maritzburg College.

‘Incredible results’ achieved by winners of the JSE Investment Challenge.

The JSE Investment Challenge finished with a bang this month as learners and students across South Africa finally found out who the winners were in the four different competition categories.

The competition allows school learners and students from higher-learning institutions to invest virtual money in the financial markets with a virtual portfolio of R1-million, giving them a solid understanding of financial instruments and the freedom to learn and speculate without any risk.

Each month, each portfolio’s best-performing teams and schools received R500 for each team member and R500 for the school as well as the supervising teacher or mentor. In addition, five annual cash prizes of R60,000 per portfolio, amounting to R240,000, were awarded at the final prize ceremony.

Thor Investments from Maritzburg College took the top spot in the equity category with growth of 16.62%. Team members included Tevin Govender, Mnqobi Fihlela, Ethan Kleu and Yamkela Katide.

“People in class were throwing around Marvel names such as Wakanda. We chose the name Thor Investments because Thor represents strength with his hammer, and he is the god of lightning and protection. The lightning comes from the sky and we decided we wanted to move in one direction – up,” Fihlela explains.

Maritzburg College has participated in the challenge several times over the years and this is the fourth time the school has won a prize.

Economics teacher Ngcebo Thembela says he strongly encourages students to participate in the JSE Investment Challenge. “Over the last four years, we’ve had an average of 20 teams entering the challenge each year. This year, 26 teams entered. Nithia Pillay, the head of the economics and business studies department, mentored 10 teams while I mentored 16 teams,” he says.

Going forward, the school has decided to enter its Grade Eight and Nine learners in the income portfolio, which is more conservative, while the older grades enter the more challenging equity category.

Fihlela says the team put in a great deal of research and analysis before deciding which stocks to invest in.

JSE marketing director Vuyo Lee (left) and the winners.

“We applied the golden rule of buying low and selling high, and it worked,” he says.

The Pure Wholesomeness Team from Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch walked away with the top prize in the high schools’ speculator category, with a portfolio growth of 23.79%.

Grade 11 friends Michael Samson, Francois-Paul Lategan, Muhammad Docrat and Jaydon Durr decided to enter as a team. Durr had been investing on his own with an Easy Equities account for a year but his teammates had no investment experience.

“Our advice to teams entering next year is research, research, research. Make sure the companies you invest in have good financials and sound management,” says Durr.

Proud dad Fahim Docrat says the boys’ hard work and commitment paid off.

“Muhammad and his team have shown great skill and investment savvy. They have proven themselves in this challenge and we can only hope they will put their talents to good use in their chosen careers,” he says.

Schools from under-developed areas came out ahead this year, with the biggest wins from Mpumelelo Secondary School in Mpumalanga. Four students competing as MP Magic Traders – Disebo Makhubedu, Boitumelo Mohlamonyane, Siyabonga Mokwena and Phindile Mtsweni – generated an income of more than R53,000 on their initial virtual investment of R1-million during the six months of the competition.

As well as winning the overall prize in the Income Category, MP Magic Traders and other teams from their school won many monthly prizes for building the best-performing investment portfolio and consistently outperforming other schools.

“Their success demonstrates how hungry these learners are to acquire knowledge and skills that will directly affect their future,” says Ralph Speirs, the JSE’s CSI officer.

“Their performance was particularly outstanding since Mpumelelo Secondary has extremely limited resources and its learners were introduced to investments for the first time through the JSE Investment Challenge.

“Their win is a clear statement that financial literacy is accessible to anyone regardless of their background and prior knowledge. It shows that, through determination and grit, schools can learn and excel in putting into practice financial literacy skills,” he said.

Mpumelelo Secondary teacher Sizwe Mtsweni, who mentored the teams, said: “Our desire is to see learners leave the education environment with a good understanding of how to use their disposable income and acquire healthy savings habits. This was an incredible achievement by our school.”

Another team that found rich rewards through their investments was Limpopo Goes to the Market, comprising Katlego Masete and Ntiyiso Nghenabo from Limpopo, who are currently studying at the University of Cape Town. They grew their investment in the University Speculator Portfolio by a massive 52.99%.

The winning schools in each category won R21,500 and the university winning duo won R25,000.


The winners for the 2021 JSE Investment Challenge competition are:

Income category: MP Magic Traders from Mpumelelo Secondary School, Mpumalanga.

Equity portfolio: Thor Investments, Maritzburg College, KwaZulu-Natal.

Speculator portfolio for schools: Pure Wholesomeness, Paul Roos Gymnasium, Western Cape.

Speculator portfolio for universities: Limpopo Goes to the Market, University of Cape Town, Western Cape. DM168

This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper which is available for R25 at Pick n Pay, Exclusive Books and airport bookstores. For your nearest stockist, please click here.


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Geoff Krige says:

    Learning to invest is all very well. But where does the money come from? Workers salaries held down to boost company “performance”, the hard-earned retirement funds of pensioners, etc. We should rather be training learners to work at something productive.

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