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Student Zone                                                                                                                    

Young Financial Journalist 2020/21

We have our winners!

Our Young Financial Journalist competition gives young people the opportunity to show off their writing skills and financial know-how. 

In partnership with the  FT

About Young Financial Journalist

Organised in partnership with the Financial Times, this competition looks for well argued articles from students aged 14 to 19.

Winning entries are published on the Insights section of our website and is featured in the Financial Times. The winner of each age group also receives a £150 cash prize.

This year, our panel of judges included:

  • the Financial Times Consumer Editor and Editor of FT Money, Claer Barrett
  • mathematician, teacher, broadcaster and writer, Bobby Seagull, and
  • Managing Director of Financial Capability and Community at LIBF, Catherine Winter.

Commenting on this year’s competition, Catherine Winter said:

“I’ve really enjoyed reading the essays in this year’s Young Financial Journalist’s competition! We had over 300 entries and the standard was incredibly high, so judging was tough, but very rewarding. 

“It’s always a great opportunity to hear from young people on what they think about money. And it’s wonderful to know that so many young people are passionate about finance.”

About our judges

Claer Barrett is an award-winning journalist who has been the Editor of FT Money since 2015 and is Consumer Editor at the Financial Times. She’s also the Editor of @ftthrift and a Daily Guest on Eddie Mair's evening show on LBC Radio.

Bobby Seagull is a mathematician, teacher and writer. He appeared on the television programme University Challenge in 2017, and in 2018 on Monkman & Seagull’s Genius Guide to Britain. His first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Numbers, was published in 2019. He is a regular commentator on financial education and money matters.

Catherine Winter is Head of Financial Capability at The London Institute of Banking & Finance. Following a career in communications, she was a teacher of economics for six years and is now responsible for our work with schools who deliver our financial education qualifications at GCSE and A Level.   

Schools teaching 16 to 19 year-olds can get free access to the Financial Times website. 

Get your free Get your free subscription to the FT online

Meet this year’s winners!

14-15 age group

Winner: Mukund Mahendra Soni, Queen Elizabeth’s School, Barnet 

Mukund told us, “It was interesting to look at the topic in more detail, and I gained a much greater understanding of the benefits of a cashless society. I also think some of my other skills – like researching, finding goodMukund Mahendra-Soni sources, referencing them and writing an extended piece – they increased quite a lot!” 

Bobby Seagull says, “Excellent article! With a clear, nuanced view about how society might transition to cashless and a judicious use of data to back up key points! Sometimes, younger writers try to convince readers through an over reliance on stats, but this didn't do that." 

Claer Barrett says, “A fantastically well researched piece on the decline of cash, which drew on international examples – and some from ancient history – to hammer the main points home. Highlighting the increased costs that small businesses face from using card payment and contactless machines instead of cash was particularly insightful. As well as what happens with digital payments if your phone runs out of battery!” 

Read Mukund's article

Highly commended: Rosanagh de Mestre, St Paul’s Girls School, Hammersmith

Rosanagh told us, “When I heard about this competition, I was quite drawn to the journalism aspect. Then I found it really enjoyable researching something that I didn’t know that much about before. The experienceRosanagh-de-Mestre also helped me to develop the ability to condense quite complicated ideas into more simple terms.” 

Bobby Seagull says, “Draws in the reader from the very first sentence: ‘A farmer with toothache in the Galapagos’. Clear referencing to sources.” 

Claer Barrett says: “A well structured piece, with a refreshingly original voice and some well chosen international examples to back up the main points.” 

Read Rosanagh de Mestre's article

16-17 age group

Winner: Eliza Stevenson-Hamilton, Benenden School, Cranbrook

Eliza told us, “I saw the question and thought this is a really nice way for me to talk about my opinion on the importance of financial education and allowing young people to invest in a safe space. I think that’s Eliza-Stevenson-Hamilton so important and I really hope that came across in my piece.” 

Bobby Seagull says, “Refreshing honesty, especially the points about adults poorly explaining how to actually become financially resilient. This article should really make adult readers think about how they engage with young people. I was impressed that the writer conducted their own primary research, and used relevant examples like GameStop to show how young people’s interest has been sparked in investment during the pandemic.”   

Clear Barrett says, “The writer grabbed me from the start, with the assertion that financial resilience was being taught by lived experience of the pandemic, rather than through school textbooks. Honing in on how young people’s finances have proved the most precarious, this was a devastating critique of the poor state of financial education in Britain today.”  

Read Eliza Stevenson-Hamilton's article

 Highly commended: Tom Renshaw, Peter Symonds College, Winchester

Tom told us, “When I first looked at it, I wasn’t really sure what financial resilience was, but I did some research online and learnt a lot through the experience. It’s been fun to enter the competition and a lovely surprise to findTom-Renshaw out I’ve been shortlisted.” 

Bobby Seagull says, “A well structured response on the consequences of poor financial management for young people. And I liked the positive outlook at the end for the generation of 2020s youth.” 

Claer Barrett says, “The writer really got to grips with how the pandemic has exposed financial vulnerabilities for millions of people, young and old.” 

Read Tom Renshaw's article

18-19 age group

Winner: Pamela Kruze, Pendleton Sixth Form College, Salford

Pamela told us, “It was interesting to write about being a millionaire by 30, but it was tough. I did a lot of research to make sure I was writing about the right things. And I attended a session at college about how to write as Pamela-Kruze a journalist, to make the piece more interesting rather than just factual.” 

Bobby Seagull says, “This was such a good column, I could imagine myself reading it in the Financial Times’ Money section.”  

Claer Barrett says: “The writer has clearly been learning a lot about investing under lockdown. And this internationally relevant piece gave lots of sensible pointers for young investors and showed a great deal of research.” 

Read Pamela Kruze's article 

Highly commended: Joely To, Streatham and Clapham High School 

Joely told us, “I thought the titles were really interesting so I thought why not enter. I chose the investing and tradingJoely-To title because I’d done some previous work experience around that and wanted to explore it further. It was really enjoyable and a great learning opportunity.” 

Bobby Seagull says, “Very engaging style of writing, especially the use of the Treasure Island analogy. One of my favourites in this age category.” 

Claer Barrett says, “I liked the writer’s attempt to explain the difference between gambling and investing. A lot of careful thought went into this piece.”  

Read Joely To's article