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Warwick Academy wins investment challenge

Warwick Academy yesterday notched up a double in the annual KPMG Investment Challenge for schools.

The #Inspire team took the top spot in a field of 19 teams, with schoolmates Front Street Wolves taking second spot.

All the teams were given a virtual $100,000 to invest, using the hi-tech Stock Trak platform to help them identify the best bets for their cash and each team was assigned a professional from KPMG as a mentor.

The competition was held over five months, and Warwick Academy's winning team turned its $100,000 into $116,431.79, a profit of 16.43 per cent.

The Front Street Wolves ended on $114,883.03, up 14.88 per cent, while third placed Branson's Billionaires, from Saltus Grammar School, achieved $111,274.06.

Jada St Clair, 16, part of the winning team, said: “We were lucky to win and we're grateful.”

She attributed the team's success to investing “in the right companies”. She explained that the team picked well-known firms like Apple, Amazon and electric car company Tesla, mixed in with cheaper, less well-known stocks.

Ms St Clair, from Warwick, said: “We were very pleased to have won.”

And she added it had helped stimulate an interest in financial services for her.

“This has helped — it's developed my interest. I'd like to work in the business sector or maybe go into medicine.”

Team-mate Alex Chevereaux, aged 17, from Paget, added: “You hope to win, but you never really know because it's unpredictable.”

He said a career in high finance was “an interesting possibility, but I'm thinking entrepreneurship sounds pretty good.”

Tesla was one of his favourite stocks because “it's a pretty cool company, and they did really well.”

But Mr Chevereaux said: “The one that worked out best was Apple because of the problems Samsung had in the phone sector.”

The winning team picked up a $10,000 cheque for their school.

As only one prize is awarded per school, the second prize of $6,000 went to Saltus, with the Bermuda Institute taking the $4,000 third prize after its team Tradewins17 finished fourth.

Steven Woodward, managing director and head of KPMG Enterprise, as well as in charge of the firm's graduate programme, said 19 teams had taken part, totalling more than 100 pupils from every senior school plus Somersfield Academy, a middle school.

“Overall, they've performed quite well. I think the markets have been a bit more favourable this year, so there have been some pretty good returns,” he said.

“The winning team made a return of more than 16 per cent over five months, which is pretty good when you analyse it.”

Wanda Armstrong, a senior manager in human resources at KPMG who organised the competition, said: “It's very important for the senior schools because we try to get them interested in investing and trying to understand the market earlier.

“It's also a benefit for the pupils because some of them will get jobs in investment companies or financial services, so it's good for them.”

Cole Simons, the Minister of Education, presented the prizes at a ceremony in Hamilton's City Hall. He said: “This does wonders for our young people and our community.

“To me, this exemplifies integrated learning.”

He told the teams after the prize-giving: “You guys enjoy the ride and keep an eye on the investment services industry. It's a very interesting industry, a very dynamic industry and it will be good for Bermuda. If you decide to go down this road, it will be a very exciting ride.”

Team spirit: the winning team from Warwick Academy surrounded by the 18 other competitors after the prize-giving for this year's KPMG Investment Challenge for schools (Photograph Raymond Hainey)

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Published May 05, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated May 05, 2017 at 12:49 am)

Warwick Academy wins investment challenge

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