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Warwick’s young investors make strong start

Warwick Academy's From Bears to Bulls team in the KPMG Investment Challenge may be in their pyjamas — but they are not sleeping on the job.

The team was sitting third in the November ratings in the annual schools competition, just behind Dobby's Traders, also from Warwick Academy and table-toppers Non-Cents from Bermuda High School.

There are 18 teams in this year's competition, all of whom started in November with a virtual $100,000 to invest through next April.

Business studies and ICT teacher Sara Jackson, who is mentoring the team, said the pupils were in pyjamas as part of the “school spirit” week — but had their eyes fixed firmly on moving up the table.

Ms Jackson said: “It's going well — the kids have all selected companies they're interested in.”

But she added that an investment in the US Chipotle restaurant chain — which was hit by a food poisoning scare — had hit their portfolio, although they have now unloaded the share from their notional portfolio.

Ms Jackson said: “We have a bit of a KPMG challenge curse — Chipotle had an E coli scare, so we had to sell them quickly before the price went down.”

She said the 11-strong team had picked hi-tech firms like Apple and Amazon, banks and retailers, with an emphasis on Black Friday and predictions on who might do well.

Video game maker Activision — due to release an anticipated new game — is also part of their portfolio.

Ms Jackson said: “They are really enjoying it. Warwick Academy has won the competition a couple of times and had a few second places — we want to maintain our record of success there.”

Team member Alex Mason, 16, said his Netflix pick was the top-performing stock for the team.

He added: “It a great challenge and good for all the students to participate.

“It gives us experience in trading and, considering Bermuda is an international market, it gives us an insight into what many Bermudians actually do as a job.”

And he said he was considering a career as an accountant, but business and trading in foreign markets remained a second choice.

Team-mate India Wilson, also 16, added: “I thoroughly enjoy it — it's interesting. We like investing in food companies because we all take an interest in international foods.”

She said that she had picked luxury jewellery store Tiffany's as an original pick in view of the Christmas shopping rush — but it had not performed to expectations and been ditched.

But Ms Wilson added that Panera Bread, the US upper end fast food US bakery-café chain, another of her choices, was third best-performing share for the team.

She said that a career in the financial sector was “a possibility” but that she favoured marketing.

Ms Wilson added: “Mostly for me, the challenge is about how world events affect the markets. You have to be really up to date with current affairs.”

Budding stock pickers: Warwick Academy students who are taking part in the 2015/16 KPMG Investment Challenge. Pictured, from left, are, front row, Shannon Hassell, Amaya Foy, Alex Mason, India Wilson, Sara Jackson; second row, Emily Medway, Anthony Whaley, Tia Froud; third row: Caleb Jones, Cheyenne Colbourne Hughes and Kip Malpas (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published December 15, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated December 15, 2015 at 4:20 pm)

Warwick’s young investors make strong start

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