UCT wins trading contest

2019-06-18 06:00
Mohapi Mohlamonyane, Rakhee Kooverjee, Abhik Mukherjee (senior lecturer), Lindi-Jane Janse van Rensburg and Keagan Brown.

Mohapi Mohlamonyane, Rakhee Kooverjee, Abhik Mukherjee (senior lecturer), Lindi-Jane Janse van Rensburg and Keagan Brown.

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A team from the University of Cape Town (UCT) African Institute of Financial Markets and Risk Management (AIFMRM) won the fourth annual FNB Stockbroking and Portfolio Management Trading Game.

After a three-month trading simulation challenge utilising a demo trading platform, the team of Rakhee Kooverjee, Mohapi Mohlamonyane, Lindi-Jane Janse van Rensburg and Keagan Brown generated the highest return on USD100 000 initial capital.

Doctor Abhik Mukherjee, a senior lecturer with AIFMRM, said the team beat stiff competition from Stellenbosch University (US) and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) to win the trading simulation.

Richard Levesque, portfolio manager at FNB Stockbroking and Portfolio Management, said: “The competition draws participants into the real world of the stock market and they aim to help them to understand the process from start to end, and the risks involved. While the system is a simulation, it works on real-time prices and data.

“For example, if the dollar weakens in the real world, the change is adapted in the simulation as well. Stockbroking is perceived as an intimidating domain but through this competition, we want to make it a lot more accessible.”

The competition was launched in 2015 after a discussion with Hylton Hollander from the Department of Economics at US about devising a way to give students and academics a taste of the world of trading in global financial markets.

This year three universities were involved, with teams from US, Wits and UCT. This gave the students an opportunity to work together, compete against one another and learn about trading in real time.

UCT team leader Kooverjee said winning the game was a thrilling experience. “The last few days, in particular, were nerve-wracking, as we were trying to maintain the lead while other teams were creeping up the leader board.”

Kooverjee said the team quickly realised each other’s strengths and weaknesses and used that to their advantage. “The way an individual person trades reveals a lot about how they view risk and everyday decisions in life.

“It also gave them interesting insights into how markets react to trivial things – even the outcome of a soccer match.

“Financial markets are a tricky, yet interesting, environment and I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the competition.”

For Mohlamonyane, the financial nature of the competition was a new experience since he has an engineering background. “I did not know much about the financial world when we started, and the market seems to do whatever it wants! You can factor in everything that you can think of and still be wrong.”

He said the toughest part was remaining calm when their stock plummeted. “Most of the time, luck was on our side, and we always bounced back.”

Each winning team member received an FNB Stockbroking account at zero cost plus R4000 worth of FirstRand shares.

Levesque said: “FNB Stockbroking and Portfolio Management would also be involved with the students and guide them along their wealth creation journey.”

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