Qualifying in 5th for the live final, "John May Have The Keys" from John Port School in Derbyshire recounts their experience of The Student Investor Challenge so far, and a little bit about the team.
We all attend John Port School’s Sixth form and are all in Year 13. We all study either Economics, Maths, Further Maths or all at A level, and have found these subjects useful in the competition. We all hope to progress onto Further Education, all to study at top institutions across the country, with the potential to move in to an area regarding this competition.
What motivated you to take on the Student Investor Challenge?
During Economics, our teacher Mr Campbell, introduced competition to the class, so we thought we’d give it a go. Early on, when discussing the prizes on offer with someone from a rival team they jokingly said “Oli there is no chance you’re going to win”, so we then thought it’d be fantastic if we beat that team and had a solid chance of winning, which we did (all in good spirit of course). From the practice, we found it a very interesting and slightly addictive activity, which really helped us to put time and effort into the competition.
What have been the major challenges so far in the competition?
Mainly FTSE not doing what we wanted it to do. This sometimes involved some rash decisions and some impulse buys/sells, but we steadied the boat and when it came to it, we made some clever decisions at the right times. Another major challenge was balancing school with this competition, some of the team had coursework deadlines, as well as constant ongoing revision, A Levels had to be the priority. However we all naturally take to our subjects, and found the balance.
Were you consistent throughout the tournament? Or did jump up and down?
Right at the start, our active investor portfolio took a horrible dip as Merlin Entertainments took an unexpected fall, however our strategic portfolio became very strong. Due to other commitments, we slacked off the competition during the later parts of 2017, and returned to find our strategic portfolio in a sensational position. We then got back with it, at one point making £6,000 overnight as we heard about GKN being valued. This put our strategic portfolio in a good enough position to take us through. During the semi-finals, our first three weeks just got better and better and we did enough to place us 5th overall.
How have you managed your time juggling the competition and your studies?
A lot of what we did we were able to do on our phones at school in a break or lunch or free, so it didn't' take too much time out of our studies, it was more about being efficient and committed.
What do you envisage as the most difficult part of the live final?
We imagine the first part with the challenge as we’re very unsure as to what it’ll involve, but I’m sure we’ll smash it. A large challenge will probably be the early start and making sure we’re fully awake for the final, although I’m sure the adrenaline will be pumping.
What’s the backstory behind the team name?
Oliver and Ben, during a year 12 Economics lesson were introduced to two well known economists: Milton Friedman and John Maynard Keynes. We looked at each other and thought, these sound like important people and we should probably think of a good way to remember them. Milton Friedman was remembered as “Cheesy Fried Man” (Milton sounds like Stilton, Friedman~ Fried man), and John Maynard Keynes was remembered as “John May Have the Keys”. When it came to choosing between the two for a team name, we thought John May Have the Keys sounded more mysterious so we went with it.
Do you have a funny story while trading?
Another member in a different group, the same who doubted us, during a lesson, was showing off that his team had made more money. I logged on and it turned out this was untrue, to which he was somewhat unhappy. This was satisfying.
How do you feel you have grown as a team and as individual students while taking part in the competition?
We’ve certainly expanded our knowledge in financial ways as we had no prior knowledge in trading, the stock market or financial institutions and how they work. So we have all learned a great deal from that. As a team we have definitely became closer, even organising fun trips like team paintballing from a Mcdonald’s monopoly sticker. It has been a great all round experience taking part in this competition and would recommend it to anyone!
- Oliver Shahidullah (18), Ben Lewis (17), Luke Dainty (17), Sam Evans (17), John May Have The Keys.