High School Investment Competitions

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Female teacher giving instructions to four students in a library.

High School Investment Competitions

What are high school investment competitions?

What are high school investment competitions? High school investment competitions are contests where students learn about investing, research stocks, and create portfolios with hypothetical funds. These competitions aim to educate and inspire students about finance, economics, and the stock market and help them develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.

The competition usually culminates in a presentation of the students’ investment strategies and a final evaluation of their portfolios based on specific criteria such as return on investment, risk management, and diversity.

a female student holding her school stuff and looking at the camera

These competitions can be an exciting and educational experience for high school students, providing them with a hands-on learning opportunity they may not otherwise receive in the classroom.

Top high school investment competitions

Here are some of the top high school investment competitions:

Bentley University’s December Stock Market Challenge

This investing competition for current high school students in the Northeast challenges them to invest about $50,000. This challenge aims to provide high school students with firsthand investing experience and a view of how the economic system operates in a fun and collaborative setting.

Ithaca College High School Investment Competition

The Ithaca College High School Investment Competition exposes northeastern students in grades 9-12 to real-world investing strategies. Students are divided into groups of three to six and challenged to create a virtual $1,000,000 portfolio of five to twenty stocks. The winning team has the best-performing portfolio at the end of the challenge, and the top three teams get monetary awards.

Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge Nebraska

Junior Achievement Stock Market Competition Nebraska, the nation’s largest Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge, gives kids a taste of the stock market by being tasked with investing $1,000,000 in phony funds in 26 bogus companies.

Trading days are only 90 seconds long, condensing two months of trading into two exciting hours. In addition to the challenge, students will attend classroom courses on the fundamentals of the stock market and the value of saving and investing.

Wharton Global High School Investment Competition

The Wharton Global High School Investment Competition encourages students in grades 9-12 worldwide to create a strategy to help them achieve their long-term goals. Participants establish an investing strategy, research industries, and companies, and build a portfolio using $100,000 in virtual capital in groups of four to seven students.

Unlike other investment competitions, winners are picked based on the strength and clarity of their team’s plan rather than the growth of their portfolios.

Global Stock Pitch Competition

The Young Investors Society hosts the Global Stock Pitch Competition each year. It is one of the most well-known high school investment competitions. Participants are entrusted with analyzing a publicly traded company (often meeting with the firm’s management), suggesting whether to “buy” or “sell” its stock, and eventually explaining their decision in a written report.

Stevens Trading Day

Stevens Trading Day, presented by the Stevens Institute of Technology, is available to students aged 16 and up worldwide. Participants design a fictitious portfolio with $1,000,000 in funds. The developers of the top 25 highest-performing portfolios are invited to Stevens’ Hoboken, New Jersey, campus for a series of seminars, lectures, and events, including a live-trading competition in which the top traders compete for prizes.

Capitol Hill Challenge

This high-profile investing competition for high school and middle school students brings together members of Congress, students, teachers, and schools to help students better grasp personal finance and economics.

The challenge is open to two public middle or high schools per Congressional district each year, with selected schools able to field up to ten teams of three to five students. Teams in the Capitol Hill Challenge manage a hypothetical $100,000 portfolio of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, impact investments, and cash; the top ten teams receive national recognition and a financial award.

Yale DHSRI High School Investment Competition

The Dwight Hall Socially Responsible Investment Fund (DHSRI) at Yale University, the nation’s longest undergraduate-run socially responsible investment fund, is organizing this high school investment competition. This competition is one of the top high school investment competitions for students.

The competition teaches participants basic investment skills and the principles of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing. The competition requires students to manage a $100,000 virtual portfolio for 90 days and prepare a final report.

University of Texas at Dallas Top Trader Competition

The Naveen Jindal School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) is hosting a national investing competition for rising 9th through 12th grades. Participants begin with a virtual currency balance of $1,000,000 and are tasked with investing it in equities and ETFs (exchange-traded funds). The contest winner will get a monetary prize, while all competitors will have a more excellent grasp of investing and personal finance.

Kansas High School Stock Pitch Challenge

The Kansas High School Stock Pitch Challenge, challenges Kansas high school students to investigate and report on a firm and make “buy” or “sell” recommendations in teams of three to five.

Over 90 days, teams submit three reports while receiving comments from judges. The top five teams are invited to a networking event to present their findings to a panel of industry and faculty judges at Kansas State University’s College of Business.

Why should you join high school investment competitions?

Why should you join high school investment competitions? There are several reasons why high school students may benefit from participating in investment competitions:

Hands-on learning experience: Investment competitions provide students with a practical and engaging learning experience that can help them understand critical financial concepts in a real-world setting.

Two students talking on a table.

Develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills: Participants can research and analyze stocks, bonds, and other investment vehicles, which helps them develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.

Gain knowledge of the stock market: Investment competitions give students an in-depth understanding of how the stock market works and how to analyze stocks and other investment vehicles.

Build teamwork and communication skills: Many investment competitions are team-based, which helps students build teamwork and communication skills as they work together to create and present their portfolios.

Opportunities for recognition and prizes: Many investment competitions offer recognition, awards, and scholarships for top performers, which can help boost students’ confidence and help them stand out in college applications.

High school investment competitions can be an excellent way for students to gain a deeper understanding of finance and economics, build valuable skills, and have fun competing against their peers.

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