The University of Johannesburg (UJ) team − named VK 29 MMS – emerged as the July winner of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) Investment Challenge, under the university category.
The monthly virtual trading financial literacy challenge uses gamification to upskill young people in the fundamentals of investing and the importance of financial literacy.
During the challenge, South African school learners and tertiary students invest a virtual amount of R1 million on the stock market in JSE-listed shares over a six-month period.
The team earning the highest interest at the end of each month is selected as the winning team of that month.
The team, comprising Madoda Hlatshwayo and Sebolaishi Manamela, achieved 7.67% growth. The performance highlighted the ability to navigate the intricacies of the stock market and effectively seize investment opportunities, commented the JSE.
Hlatshwayo, an aspiring chartered accountant (CA), said: "As future CAs, the JSE 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.
“In trading, there are profits and losses; our strategy involved conquering the fear of failure, which became our strongest asset. We sought guidance from expert forex traders through videos, learning how they navigated losses and secured substantial profits.”
A report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development states the level of financial literacy in SA is concerningly low, with only 42% of the adult population considered financially literate.
This indicates that over half of SA's adult population is unable to understand fundamental financial concepts, including interest rates, inflation and savings, notes the JSE.
The 50-year-old investment challenge has gone through stages of evolution, with technology increasingly playing a key role in the investment of funds and tracking of stock prices.
Last year, the JSE introduced its virtual trading game, in an effort to increase access to financial literacy in SA.
"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."
Last year, the competition attracted 24 000 participants.
The August winners will be announced later in September, with the overall winner for the year to be revealed on 6 October.