The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) announced the winners of the 2023 Investment Challenge, marking the competition’s 50th anniversary. This remarkable milestone underscores the impact the initiative has had on South African youth, with over 29 000 participants this year alone from both high schools and universities across the country.
The JSE Investment Challenge has become a catalyst for financial literacy and economic empowerment among South African youth. In a country where financial security is often elusive, the Challenge has equipped participants with the tools to make informed financial decisions.
Over the 50 years, the game has evolved tremendously reaching key milestones such as transitioning from a paper-based system to an electronic platform in 2002 and the introduction of the university game in 2005. It is through these developments that the Challenge has been able to drive financial literacy across the country, reaching a diverse audience and introducing the youth to the world of investing and the dynamics of the stock exchange.
A recent report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development revealed that less than half of South Africa’s adult population are considered financially literate. Against this backdrop, the Investment Challenge stands as a powerful agent of change, contributing to the economic well-being of the nation.
“The JSE Investment Challenge stands as a testament to our ongoing efforts to educate, empower and create opportunities for young South Africans. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary, we are proud of the progress we’ve made in financial literacy and economic inclusion. We eagerly anticipate the continued growth of this vital initiative in the years ahead,” said Ralph Speirs, CSI Officer at the JSE.
The tangible impact of the Investment Challenge is evident in the financial growth achieved by participants. This year, the winners demonstrated outstanding results, showcasing the effectiveness of financial education in transforming lives.
A notable milestone from this year’s competition was the introduction of a new game featuring Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs). In the schools’ competition, the top-performing team, ACCP-Techcabal from ACUDEO College Crystal Park in Gauteng achieved an impressive growth of 8.64% in this category, surpassing the returns of the traditional speculator competition, which yielded 6.33%. This exceptional achievement highlights the potential of ETFs and ETNs in the investment landscape.
Additionally, the university team, 201 Premiere Noir from the University of KwaZulu-Natal who participated in the speculator game, which included the use of Single Stock Futures (derivative products), achieved a remarkable return of 12.11% during the same period, emphasizing the value of diversified investment strategies.
The winners of the Challenge were announced on 6 October, and they are:
Income Portfolio for schools: MP To The JSE from Mpumelelo Secondary School in Mpumalanga
Equity Portfolio for schools: ACCP-Timbali Incubator from ACUDEO College Crystal Park in Gauteng
Spectacular Portfolio for schools: The Inside Traders from Clifton College in KwaZulu-Natal
ETF/ETN Portfolio for schools: ACCP-Techcabal from ACUDEO College Crystal Park in Gauteng
Speculator Portfolio for universities: 201 Premiere Noir from the University of KwaZulu-Natal
ETF/ETN Portfolio for universities: (ru-vacay) from Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape
These accomplishments not only reflect the dedication and expertise of the participants but also underline the potential of financial education to drive economic growth and prosperity in South Africa.
According to Speirs, “Financial literacy should be a cornerstone of the education system at all three levels – primary, secondary and tertiary.” Embedding financial education into the curriculum can equip the young people with the tools to cultivate financial success and drive South Africa’s economy forward.
Teams can register electronically for next year’s challenge on https://schools.jse.co.za and https://university.jse.co.za/. Trading begins in March 2024 and ends in September 2024.