Two UKZN Teams in Top Three in JSE Investment Challenge

JSE Investment Challenge
From left: Ms Silungile Dlamini, Mr Sphamandla Shezi, Ms Makhosazane Mathobela, Mr Banele Mathenjwa and Ms Asithandile Nzonzo.

School of Accounting, Economics and Finance students were placed first and third in this year’s Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) Investment Challenge.

The national financial literacy competition sees participants test their share trading skills through an ongoing annual simulated virtual trading programme where each team is given an imaginary sum of R1 million to invest in JSE-listed companies with the aim of outperforming the competition.

Mr Sphamandla Shezi and Ms Silungile Dlamini won the speculator competition while Ms Makhosazane Mathobela, Ms Asithandile Nzonzo and Mr Banele Mathenjwa were placed third in the ETF competition. The winners were announced at the JSE awards celebration, hosted on 6 October at the JSE headquarters, in Sandton.

Finance lecturer Dr Faeezah Peerbhai received a best mentor prize in recognition of her efforts on behalf of UKZN and the JSE over the last 10 years.

Shezi said the Challenge presented them with a great opportunity to put the theory they had learned in class into practice.

‘Last year we entered the competition to familiarise ourselves with the instruments traded,’ said Shezi. ‘Then, we entered again this year because we wanted to find out whether we would perform better than previously, and it seems like we did. Because we also had a significantly larger volume of work academically we just built on the knowledge we gained from participating last year.’

For Mathobela, who plans to major in finance, the competition presented her with an opportunity to learn new things. She recruited fellow teammates Nzonzo and Mathenjwa to enter.

‘The fact that I had little knowledge about investment and trading I felt I couldn’t miss this opportunity,’ she said. ‘Finishing in the top three was such a huge accomplishment and an achievement as it was our first time at the competition so we are absolutely thrilled! Our plans for the prize money are to start investing in the real world, for example Satrix, as we have experience now.’

Having co-ordinated the Challenge for a decade, Peerbhai said the last time UKZN students won the Challenge was in 2014 so having two teams in the top three this year was a remarkable achievement.

‘We have been diligently entering the competition every year, but this year it is definitely exciting to have two teams win prizes,’ she said. ‘The investment challenge is a great opportunity for students to practise some of the skills we teach them in Finance, and empowers them to use the skills once they start working in order to generate passive income on the stock market. As a School, we are extremely grateful to partner with the JSE on this initiative, and the winners that we produce are testament to the value it creates for our students.’

Words: Thandiwe Jumo

Photographs: Supplied

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