Using newly acquired finance knowledge, strategic thinking, and creativity, local high school team beats out hundreds of other student teams from around the world
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has announced the Semifinalists for the Wharton Global High School Investment Competition, an annual contest for high school teachers and students run by the School’s Wharton Global Youth Program. Unlike other competitions, winners are selected on the strength and creativity of their team investment strategies, not on the growth of their stock portfolios.
Recently, a team of students from Amity Regional High School were notified that they were among the 50 global semifinalists in the Wharton Global Investment Competition. The students who are representing Amity in this competition are co-captain Piyush Bahel ‘23, co-captain Aarav Patel ‘24, Eydan Lavi ‘24, Henry Ranani ‘24, and Edwin Sweeney ‘23.
The Wharton Global High School Investment Competition, launched in 2012, is a 12-week challenge in which students compete in teams of four to seven, led by an advisor, to win the chance to manage the wealth of a potential client. Presented with a case study of this client, teams must create a compelling and creative long-term strategy that addresses the client’s investment goals. (This year’s case study features Nichole Jordan, Senior Vice President, Global Partner Success at Via, a TransitTech company that provides the digital infrastructure for public mobility systems to meet the needs of large cities and smaller communities around the world.) Along the way, students learn investing concepts with the help of Wharton Global Youth Program resources, conduct in-depth analysis, and buy stocks for their portfolio using an online simulator that is a tool for trading and portfolio-management education.
Following the end of 10 weeks of trading, each team is required to submit a report detailing its recommended investment strategy, analytical approach and competition journey. A unique aspect of this competition was that judging was not based on how much their portfolio grew, but rather their creativity. Judges review these final investment reports and select the top 50, which then compete against each other in the Semifinals round. The top 10 Semifinalists advance to the Global Finale, which will be held in person on April 23, 2022.
This 12-week international competition consisted of teams from over 60 countries and close to 7,000 participants. The competition states that this is one step towards their “mission to connect high school students and educators around the world with the Wharton School’s many businesses, finance, and leadership opportunities.”
By utilizing fundamental as well as technical investment strategies, the Amity Spartans were able to create a unique strategy tailored to the prospective client. Over the course of the competition, they utilized quantitative models alongside qualitative frameworks to systematically evaluate the top investments across all sectors. By integrating technology, this limited emotional risk while optimizing the portfolio to ensure mid-term and long-term success. This unique approach allowed the team to stand out and ultimately be chosen as part of the 50 teams to move on.
Throughout the competition, the team gained numerous skills and learned valuable lessons, perhaps the most important being how to remain patient and emotionally controlled.
The Amity Spartans explained, “Understanding how to properly handle our emotions in times of unprecedented market volatility taught us how to stay patient and have faith in our disciplined strategy. This proved to be imperative in becoming a successful portfolio manager. At certain junctures, we felt compelled to close our positions at a loss, despite believing that the stock is a strong pick. But our conviction ultimately prevailed and prevented us from making such decisions. Experiencing this market volatility firsthand allowed us to clearly understand how patience and discipline are defining traits of successful investing.”
Through their participation in the competition, the students started the Amity Investment Club at their school. To date there are around 100 members that are a part of the club. Meeting biweekly, they go over current market conditions and upcoming catalysts. They then move to a discussion of various strategies, provide examples, and analyze price action of the most traded and popular stocks each week.
Unfortunately, while the team was not able to move onto the Global Finals, the Amity Spartans hope to bounce back next year using their newfound knowledge. Still, the competition was a great experience, and the team hopes it can inspire others to start investing and taking hold of their financial futures early on.