A journey that started over 21 years ago to train young people in Namibia on financial literacy and investments is growing, and saw Windhoek Gymnasium pupils crowned as winners for 2021, walking away with N$50 000.
This year, a team of pupils called The Geals, saw fictitious returns of 30,8%, beating university students to the top prize.
Every year for the past 21 years, the Namibia Stock Exchange (NSX) hosts the Namibia Scholars Investment Challenge, which introduces young Namibians to stock market investments and provides them with knowledge on broader aspects of capital market operations.
The pupils and university students are given fictitious amounts and accounts, and they must act as if they are trading in real life. This year saw each participant trading with N$500 000.
According to the NSX, 162 teams from across Namibia's 14 regions had the opportunity to trade listed shares on the NSX.
The Geals were awarded the first place prize, followed by the Eagle Investors from the University of Namibia, a return of 23,3%. They received a cash prize of N$30 000.
Trading Masters came in third place with a return of 16,8% and walked away with a cash prize of N$20 000, followed by Edu United in fourth place, with N$10 000 for a return of 10%.
Lastly, NamWealth got N$5 000, for a return of 8,8%.
Earlier this year, Old Mutual signed a three year partnership agreement with the NSX.
To enable participants to trade, each team received a starter pack consisting of basic information and a glossary on financial terminologies, said the NSX.
The participants were tasked with doing research and applying analytical skills to make good investment decisions, with the goal of increasing the value of their portfolio.
Speaking at the awarding ceremony, Old Mutual chief executive officer Tassius Chigariro said his company was invested to ensure that young people get to realise their potential early.
"The best gift to a child is helping them discover their talent. When talent is discovered - it is like discovering a fertile seed, it needs to be nurtured, it does not matter how good the seed looks, how fertile it is, if you do not put it in good soil and water, it will die.
"To the talents that have been discovered today, I urge the parents, the communities, the companies that are here, to nurture this talent," he said.
Speaking at the same event, NSX's chief executive Tiaan Bazuin said this year the challenge saw some of the best returns ever seen in the competition, as well as the highest number of teams participating.
Bazuin said it was good that the youth were learning about finances and investing, as it is an important skill for the future.
"Financial literacy in itself is imperative, people are taught the skills they need to do their financial planning for the future," he said.
Also speaking at the event, CEO of Namibia Savings and Investment Association Jason Hailonga, said teaching the young about investments is helpful to address inequality.
"It creates wealth, shared prosperity, but most importantly it also creates a globally competitive financial sector in Namibia and obviously our capital markets," said Hailonga.
Copyright The Namibian. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com)., source News Service English