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CedarBridge takes the glory in KPMG Investment Challenge

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CedarBridge Academy students Samar Tavares-Place, left, and Chelsea Minors, winners of the 2023 KPMG Senior School Investment Challenge, with a $10,000 cheque for their school (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

CedarBridge Academy has won $10,000 after its team, the StockXers, topped this year’s KPMG Senior School Investment Challenge.

The school is free to use the money any way it wishes.

Warwick Academy’s team , The Invisible Hand: Imara Richardson, left, Mathew Banner, Cody Rans, Amelie Fournier, Gus Meynell, teacher Matt Mitchell, Sanaa Burgess, Maile Dalene and Jack Carruthers with the second-place cheque for $6,000 (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

In the six-month competition among middle and high schools, students were given a virtual $100,000 to invest in simulated trading that follows the real stock market. They used an online system to simulate trades.

Cleanxchange team: Berkeley Institute teacher Dawn Nichols Marshall, left, and students Ayr Cannonier and Kriston Adams Jr with their third-place winnings, a $4,000 cheque for their school (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

During the competition, the StockXers made a virtual profit of $12,346.17.

The US stock market had a positive performance over the six months to the end of April.

The S&P 500 Six Month Return was at 14.61 per cent, which is higher than the long-term average of 3.03 per cent.

The S&P 500 was up 1.46 per cent in April, bringing its year-to-date return to 8.59 per cent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.48 per cent for the month and was up 2.87 per cent YTD.

Winning team members Samar Tavares-Place, 17, and Chelsea Minors, 16, will also get the chance to sit down with KPMG executives at a special lunch in June.

The StockXers’ strategy was to pick ten stocks and stick with them.

Nike was one of their choices.

“That stock had its ups and downs,” Samar said.

No more than 10 per cent of their portfolio could be a single stock.

When asked what stocks did particularly well, Chelsea said: “All of them”.

Warwick Academy’s The Silent Hand team placed second with a profit of $10,971.00, and the Berkeley Institute’s Cleanxchange team placed third, with a profit of $10,570.83.

At a prize-giving ceremony on Wednesday at the Bermuda Society of Arts at City Hall in Hamilton, Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, called the challenge results “highly anticipated”.

“Each year we witness our young people rise to the occasion by investing in their future and stepping out of their comfort zone,” Mr Rabain said.

“During this challenge, our students are guided by an amazing team of mentors who help us transform their ideas into reality. Corporate and government partnerships such as this one help us nurture the next generation.”

KPMG partner Steve Woodward said: “In terms of the market conditions, it has been pretty turbulent, but this year the results were quite good.”

Last year the real stock market performed so badly that nobody in the KPMG challenge made a profit. It became a question of who had lost the least.

Mr Woodward said the most popular securities traded this year, were Meta, Apple, Tesla, JP Morgan and Snowflake, a cloud-based data storage company.

Fifteen teams from eight schools took part in the challenge, which was launched in 2005 as part of KPMG’s commitment to education and youth development.

For the first time in the competition’s 18-year history, a middle school team, Clearwater Middle School, took part in the competition.

“We were in first for a while,” said Iryan Arouzzi, 12, of Clearwater’s Eagle Eyed Investors.

But when a negative report about artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT popped the AI bubble in the real world, they plunged to seventh place.

Their teacher, Don Burgess, said they coped by doubling down on AI stocks.

“We figured the only direction they could go in was up,” he laughed.

That strategy won them fourth place in the competition.

Jamila Godwin, KPMG assistant manager of markets, said the challenge was created to help generate interest in the concept of investing for the future.

“We also wanted to develop awareness of the capital markets and the types of securities available,” Ms Godwin said.

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Published May 05, 2023 at 7:50 am (Updated May 06, 2023 at 7:21 am)

CedarBridge takes the glory in KPMG Investment Challenge

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