The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is very pleased with the increasing reach and impact of the Investment Challenge, a competition amongst learners and students designed to advance their knowledge and understanding of investments and the stock market, says Ralph Speirs, the JSE’s CSI Officer.

 

Published 22 Jan 2024

Johannesburg: 23 May 2022:  The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is very pleased with the increasing reach and impact of the Investment Challenge, a competition amongst learners and students designed to advance their knowledge and understanding of investments and the stock market, says Ralph Speirs, the JSE’s CSI Officer. 

“The Investment Challenge was created to bring financial literacy to all learners and students across the country from all backgrounds. However, it is remarkable to see our financial literacy outreach touching the lives of people in the most remote parts of the country,” says Speirs. “This year, we are very excited to welcome learners from Manamakgotha Secondary from the Northwest Province.”  

The school is situated about 80 kilometres from Rustenburg in a largely rural mining community called Manakgoteng. According to Obakeng Mathuba, mentor of Investment Challenge team FURIOS4 from Manamakgotha Secondary, the community is home to three platinum mines and has a population size of roughly 100 000 residents.  

Speirs says while the Investment Challenge was created to bring financial literacy to all learners and students, the bourse is encouraged to see learners from such communities participate in the competition. “More schools from communities outside the big metros with little access to financial education equates to a great return on our investment,” adds Speirs. 

Team FURIOS4 won the April equity portfolio category of the competition, and it would appear some on-the ground knowledge came in handy to help with the team’s performance. “We live in a mining community, but we avoided investing in commodities,” says Mathuba. 

Mathuba says participation in the Investment Challenge has brought a lot of excitement to the school which has about 1 200 learners from grade 8 to 12. The school has registered two teams in the competition, each with two boys and two girls. “The gender parity is purely coincidental, but it is working very well for us as there is a great collaboration between the team members,” says Mathuba. 

This year to date, first time traders in the Investment Challenge are showing great promise. Newcomers to the competition team ‘Queen of Mechanics’ comprising two female students from the University of Cape Town studying Mechatronics and Mechanical engineering have won their second prize in as many months in the university category.  

“However, we must not discount the determination and grit of the veterans of this competition,” says Speirs, noting that Mpumelelo Secondary School, the stars of the 2021 Investment Challenge who outshined many schools by winning six-monthly prizes, continued on their winning streak in 2022 as team MP The Magic Traders scooped the income portfolio prize for the month of April. 

Speirs says it is not too late to register in the 2022 competition. “Team FURIOS4 only started trading in April and they still managed to build a wining investment portfolio,” adds Speirs. 

“We would like to see as many learners and students take part in this competition because the rewards are much bigger than the prizes. Participants gain an education that will remain with them for the rest of their lives, and from a financial literacy perspective they will be all the better for it,” concludes Speirs.