An AIFMRM team in 2020 again won the fifth annual FNB Securities Challenge. The MCom students competed head-to-head with Wits and Stellenbosch teams in a trading simulation using a live FNB Securities trading simulator. They had a hypothetical US$100 000 in real-time foreign exchange and global stock markets, with the goal of achieving the highest return over three months.
Abhik Mukherjee of AIFMRM said, “We are delighted that the AIFMRM team has now won twice in a row, but the emphasis has to be on the process. The competition allows them to follow the financial press and to observe in a relatively tangible way the immediate impact of their decisions. The simulation challenges students’ assumptions, making it an exceptional learning experience.”
FNB Portfolio Manager and Stockbroker Richard Levesque agreed. “The 2020 intervarsity trading competition was certainly the most challenging one to date, as the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted the global economy. Global market volatility spiked considerably, which presented teams with an abundance of opportunity. Under very difficult conditions, the teams did incredibly well. And congratulations to the AIFMRM team on winning.”
Team member Calum Murphy said that the team had been very confident in their ability to develop a strategy that would result in superior performance. “It also proved to be an education in appreciating risk in a time of crisis as it coincided with the downturn in global markets as oil prices crashed and coronavirus was declared a pandemic.
For Tlotliso Jonas, preparing for the competition took the form of plenty of additional studying and learning about online trading. “I am shy and generally not good at interacting with people, but it helped me make some improvements to my interpersonal skills such as communication.”
Michael Brakspear said the competition had been a lot of fun as well. “It made me experience some true emotional highs and lows, so I can only imagine how exhilarating it would be to do it professionally with real money at stake. I can definitely see myself taking a further interest in trading and targeting it as a career choice.”
Each winning team member won R4 000 worth of FirstRand shares in an FNB Securities account – with their very own local JSE stock broking account.