With the annual Student Investor Challenge Final coming up in a matter of days, we hear from Benoit's Barmy Army (BBA), one of the teams who has battled through the early stages and made it to the final.
BBA: Our favourite subject is economics. This is mainly because we enjoy the real life application of the subject and the diverse range of topics that it covers. Furthermore, we believe that it is important to understand what is going on in the world around us, and by studying economics we are able to develop a much greater knowledge of current affairs. We are enjoying school and are working hard to secure good grades in our A level exams in June, which will allow us to progress onto further education.
What motivated you to take on the Student Investor Challenge?
BBA: We were motivated to enter the Student Investor Challenge because we entered 2 years ago with little success, however having become better economists and having furthered our skills through work experience and extended project qualifications, we believed that we stood a far better chance of performing well in the challenge.
What have been the major challenges so far in the competition?
BBA: The hardest challenge was getting through to the semi-finals. The market enjoyed good performance for the majority of the first round, however, some companies in particular performed exceedingly well and we were fortunate in that we predicted good performance from these companies and managed to make a good profit. The semi-final was also challenging as some of the companies that we had to predict were releasing their profits which greatly affected their share price. This meant that a lot of extra research was required to accurately predict their performance.
Were you consistent throughout the tournament? Or did jump up and down?
BBA: We were fairly consistent throughout the tournament. We were in the top 20 teams in the active portfolio for the duration of the first round. This is because once we made a large profit, we mainly went for safe investments in order to maintain our placing and progress to the semi-finals. In the semi-finals, consistent performance helped us to finish 3rd.
How have you managed your time, juggling the competition and studies?
BBA: We have been able to manage our time well. We mainly focused on the challenge during our revision breaks which meant that it did not impact on our studies and the research furthered our economic knowledge, which has helped us with our studies.
What do you envisage as the most difficult part of the final and how are you taking it on?
BBA: The most difficult part of the final is likely to be the challenges in the morning. We are preparing for this by keeping up to date with current affairs and reading around the subject to ensure that we are prepared for whatever the challenge may include.
What’s the backstory behind the team name?
BBA: Our economics teacher is called Mr Benoit and so we decided that in tribute to him, we would call the team Benoit’s Barmy Army!
Any funny stories while trading?
BBA: During the first round, we were constantly monitoring our performance on our phones so that we could respond quickly to market developments, however, our Maths teacher didn’t appreciate the importance of this and took our phones away for a lesson. Thankfully this didn’t affect our performance.
How do you feel you have grown as a team and as individual students while taking part in the competition?
BBA: As a team we have become much better at communicating and now have more unified opinions about things. As individual students we feel that the competition has helped our studies and allowed us to become more rounded economists. Overall we feel that the challenge has been beneficial for us all.
- James Tucker (17), Harry Bean (17), Alex Robinson (18), James Bradshaw (18), Benoit's Barmy Army
We'd like to wish the best of luck to Benoit's Barmy Army, in what's going to be a fantastic and competitive final.