JSE Investment Challenge kicks off for the 50th year
In a bid to raise financial literacy and get more youth to start investing, the JSE has opened the virtual trading floor of its flagship financial literacy programme – the JSE Investment Challenge – for the 50th year.
Designed to highlight the importance of investing and to increase financial knowledge among South African school learners and tertiary students, the Investment Challenge – which attracted more than 24,000 participants from urban and rural areas last year – gives learners an opportunity to invest a virtual amount of R1-million on the stock market in actual JSE listed shares over a six-month period.
Their performance is tracked and measured against other competitors, with top performers eligible for outstanding prizes after the floor closes in September.
“For five decades, the competition has been a significant vehicle to promote financial literacy, demystify the trading landscape, as well as encourage savings and investment from an early age. Using gamification, we are now better able to make the competition engaging and accessible to participants from all backgrounds, ensuring that thousands more are equipped with the fundamental skills required to build wealth,” says Idris Seedat, head of transformation and CSI at the JSE.
Last year, top-performing teams in the university and schools’ competition attained a growth of 21.73% and 8.4% respectively, against a negative 11.8% by the JSE All Share Index during the same period, sealing outstanding returns in an underperforming market. Winners hailed from Acudeo College Crystal Park, Claremont High School and Wits University.
Acudeo College Crystal Park scooped eight prizes across the income and equity competition categories last year, having entered a total of 21 teams, or 84 pupils. This year the school has entered 30 teams, or 120 pupils, in the competition.
High schools may enter one or more teams, with the challenge being open to all learners. A team must consist of four members from grades 8 to 12 and a teacher must supervise each team. University students must form a team with members registered with the same institution. Each team must have a minimum of two and a maximum of four members. All students are eligible, regardless of their field of study.
Monthly prizes are awarded to the best-performing teams and overall winners win their share of R1-million in prizes, including a trip to an international stock exchange for participants in the university game.
Prizes are usually awarded in the form of Satrix vouchers so that the youngsters can take the knowledge gained in the JSE Investment Challenge and put their money to work.
One of last year’s tertiary winners, Roberto Coelho, says his group is very much looking forward to their visit to an international stock exchange in July this year:
“Winning was awesome but the competition is about more than that. We entered twice before and I think the competition is valuable when it comes to teaching you resilience and how to take the knocks when your investment falls. Investing really is a long-term game and the lessons from the challenge will last a lifetime,” he says.
“As the continent’s biggest stock exchange, we play an active role in creating a financially literate society,” Seedat says.
“Opportunities like these help our youth gain real trading skills through an interactive platform while entrenching the value of savings and investing in their long-term development towards financial freedom.
“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the game, we aim to further broaden the challenge’s footprint by reaching schools, tertiary institutions and areas that we have not touched before, to entrench financial literacy in the social fabric of our country.”