October 22nd, 2017

Finance competition teaches lessons about money management

By Schnarr, J.W. on May 21, 2017.

U of L event a learning experience for high schoolers

J.W. Schnarr

Lethbridge Herald


The University of Lethbridge wrapped up its second annual finance competition for high school students this week.

On Friday, teams made up of students from Grades 9 to 12, and representing 10 schools in the region took part in the second annual High School Finance Competition. The event provides an opportunity for some high school students to learn some valuable lessons about money management with a competition aimed at teaching them about investing and the stock market.

The event is sponsored by the the U of L Faculty of Management.

“It’s just paper trading fictitious companies with fictitious money,” said Lynda Thai-Baird, trading room manager at the U of L. “But then they come to campus and present their results to a panel of judges consisting of an industry professional, a current faculty member and a current student.”

This year, organizers incorporated a risk-adjusted return using a Sharpe ratio – meaning students are rewarded for not taking unnecessary risk.

Using Rotman Interactive Trader software, which operates as an order-driven market simulator, students are able to get firsthand experience regarding the markets.

“It essentially allows us to create our own marketplace where (students) can trade with each other,” she said.

In this case, the market mimics commodities trading such as wheat and barley, with an opportunity to refine those products into bread.

“It shows the breadth of what trading can be in a safe environment,” Thai-Baird said.

While students are competing for cash and prizes, Thai-Baird said the emphasis for the event is really on the education in financial literacy the students receive.

“The first and foremost objective was just to give some financial literacy skills,” said Thai-Baird. “They don’t necessarily incorporate these topics into high school. So whether they decide to pursue this in post-secondary education, at least they know, from an investment perspective, how their money should be invested. Whether or not they want to do that themselves, at least they know whomever they put in charge, they can ensure it’s being done properly.” Follow @JWSchnarrHerald on Twitter

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