Students from Rivington and Blackrod High School in Bolton have demystified the world of stock market investment and have been named the overall winner of this year’s national Shares4Schools competition, by making a 34.7% return – or £694 profit – on their original £2,000 investment. The victory sees the school return to the top of the leader board for the second time, since winning in 2004 when the competition launched.
Shares4Schools is a national investment competition organised by The Share Centre, a leading retail stockbroker. Running from October to June each year, the competition challenges Year 12 students to compete against other schools around the country by trading £2,000 of real money in stocks and shares.
The team made up of A-Level economics students owed some of their success to Lloyds Banking Group, the first investment made by the group, which earned them a tidy 9% profit when they came to sell the shares.
However, it was the team’s punt on AB Dynamics, an automotive testing company listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), which saw them rise to and remain at the top of the league. Two investments made at the start and end of April, saw them benefit from the surge in the share price, meaning they made a 29% profit just on this holding.
With Rivington and Blackrod High School representing the north of the country, this year’s other regional winners were The High School of Glasgow (Scotland), Q3 Academy (Midlands), The Skinners’ School (South East) and Sherborne School in Dorset (South West). The schools will celebrate their success at an awards ceremony in London this October.
Miss Pippa Cunningham, a teacher at Rivington and Blackrod High School commented: “The competition is a brilliant way to get students to look at the operation of supply and demand in real life. It also encourages them to take an interest in the wider world, looking at current affairs, as well as the national and international economic and political situation.”
Daniel Kay, one of the winning students, added: “Seeing how the stock market worked, what influences share movement, was amazing” while fellow student Ali Ilyas added: “The most important part was developing our team-working skills, and getting all of us to agree on a collective strategy.”
Gavin Oldham, Chairman of The Share Centre and Shares4Schools founder said: “34.7% - not a bad return over nine months. Well done Rivington and Blackrod High School! Shares4Schools is so compelling because it sees students taking ownership and investing real money in the stock market and enables them to understand what makes businesses tick. It also demonstrates how sentiment - the hopes and fears of investors - can move prices up and down. It’s a great way to become familiar with the stock market and has already introduced thousands of Year 12 students to the enjoyment of self-selected investing, something we hope they will continue as a way to realise and work towards their financial goals."