JSE Investment Challenge bears fruitful ‘profits’ for schools

 THE University of Johannesburg’s dynamic team “VK 29 MMS” emerged as the July monthly winners of the JSE Investment Challenge under the Speculator Portfolio of the University competition. 

The team, comprising Madoda Hlatshwayo and Sebolaishi Manamela, demonstrated their investment ability by achieving an impressive growth of 7.67%. Their performance highlighted their ability to navigate the intricacies of the stock market and effectively seize investment opportunities. 
As an aspiring Chartered Accountant (CA), Madoda recognises the significant impact the JSE challenge holds for students like him. “As future CAs, the JSE investment challenge is an essential tool for building confidence and honing our thinking abilities.

The experience enriches our minds and equips us with practical skills for the future.” He attributes their success to a well-crafted strategy and resilient mindset. “In trading, there are profits and losses; our strategy involved conquering the fear of failure, which became our strongest asset. Instead of giving up after losses, we persisted and reinvested in profitable ventures. We sought guidance from expert forex traders through videos, learning how they navigated losses and secured substantial profits.” 

With the Investment Challenge reaching the 50-year milestone, it underscores the essential role that financial and investment literacy play in shaping the futures of young South Africans. The triumph of VK 29 MMS and their fellow participants is not just a testament to their individual skills, but also a reflection of the importance of fostering financial literacy from an early age. 

Sebolaishi’s added that their strategy for success speaks to the authenticity of the Investment Challenge experience. “Our approach was straightforward, focusing on staying within the range of our fellow classmates on the scoreboard and doing our utmost.

We invested in profitable stocks, drawing from the limited knowledge we had about the stock market.” According to her, investment literacy plays a pivotal role in reshaping perspectives on income and business dynamics.

“Investment literacy introduces us to an additional stream of income that we may not have considered. It provides a holistic view of a company’s operations. Understanding investment choices today and their influence on our future outcomes is essential. Challenges like the Investment challenge are an incredible opportunity to learn in a fun and engaging manner, ensuring our studies remain uninterrupted.” 

report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), shows that the level of financial literacy in South Africa is in concerningly low levels, with only 42% of the adult population considered financially literate.

This indicates that over half of South Africa’s adult population are not able to understand fundamental financial concepts, including interest rates, inflation, and savings. The report further highlights that the scarcity of financial literacy is particularly pronounced in rural areas and among low-income demographics, where access to financial education is limited. 

One of the key hurdles in advancing financial literacy in South Africa is the lack of accessibility to financial education. Recognising this challenge, the JSE Investment Challenge has remained committed to not only enhancing investment skills, but also bolstering financial literacy among the nation’s youth. 

“The Investment Challenge has evolved into a cornerstone of financial education, nurturing a deep comprehension of investing and financial discipline among our youth,” says Ralph Speirs, CSI Officer at the JSE.

“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Challenge, we remain steadfast in our dedication to empowering young minds with the tools to navigate the financial landscape and secure their financial futures.” 

The JSE Investment Challenge continues to evolve, using gamification to engage a diverse range of participants from urban, township and rural areas. Last year alone, the competition attracted 24,000 participants, proving its effectiveness in equipping the youth with essential financial skills. 

The Investment Challenge forms part of a compulsory class activity of the Business Management class at the University of Johannesburg, which is spearheaded by the lecturer, Suzaan Hughes. Hughes has 180 teams in her class participating in the Challenge and the students are awarded marks for their participation and performance. 

The August winners will be officially announced in September with the grand announcement of the overall annual winners for the year scheduled for 6 October. 

This year’s challenge is on the final round, stay engaged with the journey of the participants on social media TikTok @jseinvestmentchallenge

Winners for July include: 

Income Portfolio for schools: MP On Top from Mpumelelo Secondary School in Mpumalanga 

Equity Portfolio for schools: RM Super Market from Mountainview High School in Gauteng 

Spectacular Portfolio for schools: CSW-Millionaires from Worcester Gymnasium in the Western Cape 

Speculator Portfolio for Universities: MK 29 MMS from University of Johannesburg in Gauteng 

ETF/ETN Portfolio for Universities: Healthy Profits from Stellenbosch University in the Western Cape

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