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FINANCIAL LITERACY

JSE Investment Challenge: Teaching students how to invest first-hand for 50 years

JSE Investment Challenge: Teaching students how to invest first-hand for 50 years
Students Asithandile Nzonzo (left) and Makhosazane Mathobela from the University of KwaZulu-Natal team won their category in June and can’t wait to start investing for real. (Photo: Supplied)

It’s tax season and a lot of people might be lamenting why they had to learn trigonometry in high school rather than being taught how to do their taxes. Or save. Or invest.

Students of today are learning how to invest first-hand via the JSE Investment Challenge, currently running for its 50th year. 

Makhosazane Mathobela who grew up in the kwaCeza Damba reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, says saving money was not something she thought about when her parents were battling to make ends meet. Today, Mathobela is pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of KZN after doing a bridging course last year.

“When I heard about the JSE Investment Challenge, I was immediately interested. I approached two of my friends to make up a team. They were initially worried that it would distract us from our studies, but I convinced them that it would be a great learning experience. Now, I feel like my eyes have been opened and I can’t wait to start saving and investing,” she says. 

Mathobela’s fellow team members are Asithandile Nzonzo and Banele Mathenjwa, who are part of AMB Investors from the University of KZN and winners in the ETF/ETN portfolio for universities for June 2023.

The Momentum Science of Success Insights report consistently finds that young people are overconfident regarding their financial abilities, but have very low levels of financial literacy. 

Divine Muland, a teacher at Centennial Schools, points out that one way to address this is to start teaching students good financial behaviour and habits from an early age. 

Muland says young people are interacting with financial systems at much younger ages because of technological advances. 

“Most young people have a mobile phone with games and apps that have in-built purchasing systems. This generation is technologically savvy, so their entry into the world of money is different to that of an older generation. There are also more financial traps in their way,” she says.

As part of addressing this, Centennial Schools offers Grade 7 pupils an entrepreneurship game simulation to teach them about business and the fundamentals of financial literacy. The Grade 9s are learning about cryptocurrency, financial markets and associated risks.   

“Education holds the key to successful money management. Financial literacy is the key to a good relationship with finance and the earlier we start teaching and learning this, the better,” Muland says.

Although Centennial Schools is not participating in the JSE Investment Challenge, Muland says she is keen to get her pupils involved as soon as possible.

June 2023 winners:

  • Income Category: MP Unshaken Traders from Mpumelelo Secondary School, Mpumalanga, for the second consecutive month, with income of R5,849.20.
  • Equity portfolio: ACC-88mph from Acudeo College Crystal Park, Benoni, with growth of 2.24%.
  • Speculator portfolio for schools: Banyana Traders from Crawford College La Lucia with growth of 3.13%.
  • ETF/ETN portfolio for schools: NC-BT from Shingwedzi Secondary School in Limpopo with growth of 1.44%.
  • Speculator portfolio for universities: Queen of Mechanics from the University of Cape Town with growth of 6.43%.
  • ETF/ETN portfolio for universities: AMB Investors from the University of KwaZulu-Natal with growth of 1.11%. DM

 The JSE Investment Challenge is proudly supported by Daily Maverick.

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