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May 22, 2017 2017-05 Accountancy Business Administration Finance

Financial Literacy Program Announces 2017 Investment Challenge Winners

The Financial Literacy Program has been providing resources for improving financial education since its founding in 1995. As part of its outreach, the Program annually sponsors several investment challenges. These challenges are designed for university students and for local high school students. The competitions feature use of the University of Illinois Securities Exchange Simulation (UISES).

UISES is a web-based investment simulator designed to bring real-world experience into the classroom under controlled conditions. UISES provides an environment where students can search real-world information to make informed decisions. Recently, spring 2017 winners for these investment challenges were announced. Students were awarded prizes for the best rates of return over the time span of the competition. As a comparison for the rates of return achieved by the participating students, note that during the time of the simulation competition, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by 5.28% and the S&P 500 increased by 4.59%.

University Challenge

The University Challenge is open to all University of Illinois students, regardless of campus or major. Using the UISES, participants manage portfolios of $1,000,000 and on-line brokerage accounts to buy and sell equities. Prizes are given for students who generate the highest rates of return on their simulated portfolios as well as to the registered student organization whose students generate the highest average rates of return. This year, Cozad Asset Management sponsored prizes for the University Challenge. Individual

  1. Stavri Kono (13.22% return), College of Business
  2. Adam Bruyere (12.48%), College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Actuarial Science
  3. Bernard Chan (11.28%), College of Business

Registered Student Organizations

  1. Phi Chi Theta received the Cozad Prize for most accounts active at the end of the challenge (83)
  2. Investment Management Academy won for highest average rate of return (2.33%)

China Challenge

The China Challenge is organized similarly to the Investment Challenge, but this competition focuses on investments in China, using the closing prices from the Shanghai and Shenzhen Exchanges.

  1. Yu Zhang (9.92%), College of Business
  2. Minhao Gu (3.70%), College of Business
  3. Yongtong Li (0.70%), College of Business

Rotary Challenge

TRotary Challenge 2017he Rotary Challenge is an Investment challenge offered to high schools in the Urbana-Champaign area. As with the other challenges, participating students work with a $1,000,000 portfolio and a UISES online brokerage account. Since 2004, the Champaign Rotary Club sponsored prizes for students, teachers, and schools that generate the highest rates of return. This year, students from Central High School, St. Thomas More High School, and University High School were among the winners:

  1. Andre Hester-Sherod (18.05% return), St Thomas More High School
  2. Zach Beckler (13.28%), Central High School
  3. Hyunsub Lee investing (13.20%), St Thomas More High School
  4. Nicholas Phillipse (12.63%), University High School
  5. Noah Kritzer (12.47%), Central High School
  6. Rainey Shah (12.44%), Central High School

Teachers and school clubs also participated in the competition. The top returns for this group were the following:

  1. Future Business Leaders of America Club (advisor Eric Fagerlin) (7.58%), Central High School
  2. James Johnson (5.15%), St. Thomas More High School

Finally, James Johnson of St. Thomas More received the Compliance prize, meaning that his students had the highest compliance rate (student accounts that remained within the guidelines throughout the competition). His students at St. Thomas More High School had a compliance rate of 80.33%.