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The Competition Basics

Need a plan of attack for your Wharton Global High School Investment Competition journey? In addition to consulting your Guidebook (which you should read carefully), here’s a step-by-step guide to navigating this year’s Investment Competition.

  • Student teams (4-7 students) must obtain an advisor to help them learn and understand the concepts, and stay motivated during the 10 weeks of trading and strategy development. Our goal is for you to improve your teamwork, communication and finance skills.
  • Read the Investment Competition case study. In this competition, you are competing to win the chance to manage the client’s wealth. You can’t proceed with building an effective strategy for a client without first understanding that person (i.e., his risk profile and other goals and objectives).
  • Meet with your team and your advisor to discuss what it means to build a long-term investment strategy for your client. The Investment Competition is NOT a trading competition that requires lots of buying and selling of stocks. Your team must build a creative and compelling strategy to guide your decision-making and analysis, and to be considered among the top teams. This competition is NOT judged by portfolio growth. A small segment of your client’s portfolio can be put toward more active trading.
  • You may need a few weeks of classroom time and discussion before you begin trading on the Wharton Investment Simulator (WInS). Many students are new to these concepts, and therefore will only be able to compete effectively if they understand more about investing and the stock market.
  • Together, your team and your advisor should review the investment rules of the competition, which you must follow as you start to use WInS. This may also be a good time to identify different roles for your team members. What are your individual strengths? Who will be in charge of which sectors/industries? How will you divide the labor of your team?
  • As you begin to develop your strategy, you should also begin analyzing sectors, industries and stocks on the Approved Stock List. Which selections best fit with your strategy objectives? You will need to do some detailed analysis before you just start trading. This is where the resources on the site will help you to understand what it means to analyze stocks. Learn about SWOT analysis, Porter’s Five Forces, and so much more. As you communicate with your team, your strategy will likely grow and change.
  • You shouldn’t be active on WInS until you have an idea of the stocks you want in your portfolio. Remember, this is NOT a trading game. Instead, you will likely buy the stocks that fit well with your strategy and then hold them, which is important to a long-term investment approach. Perhaps you may want to change a few here or there as your strategy becomes clearer over the 10 weeks. But you should not be buying and selling frantically to improve your portfolio gains. You are not trying to prove the worthiness of your team’s long-term client strategy through your portfolio’s performance on WInS. You can’t do that in 10 weeks! However, as the case study states, you do have a small trading portion to satisfy your client’s need.
  • On November 2, you need to submit a mid-project team review. This is required if your team wants to stay in the competition. How has your strategy progressed? This document is a brief overview of your strategizing, portfolio development and team dynamic thus far in the competition. Given the time it sometimes takes to develop a team’s ideas, you may just be starting to buy stocks for your portfolio at this point. Some will start sooner, but there is no rush to WInS since this is not a trading game. It’s more important to understand the concepts, think carefully about your unique team strategy, and get to know your team members.
  • Use the final five weeks of the competition to continue learning new concepts, refine your strategy, continue your analysis, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your portfolio from both a long-term and short-term perspective, figure out if changes need to be made, and communicate regularly as a team. It may help you to keep a written log of your decisions and competition experiences along the way. The more detail and color in your final report, the better.
  • On December 11, you must submit a written report articulating your team strategy (begin by stating clearly and briefly the thesis of your strategy) and your competition experience, everything from your teamwork and trading to your analysis and strategizing. Your guidebook will provide details on the final report. While strategies must include certain truths about your client, there is no right or wrong team investment strategy. We encourage you to be creative and use what you have learned to tell us the story of your unique team approach.