Placing Trades

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Trading Basics

Your team will begin with $100,000 in virtual cash to invest in your portfolio.

All trading takes place on WInS (Wharton Investment Simulator). WInS is a web-based stock market simulation that allows students to apply the concepts of investments and portfolio management in a hands-on learning environment, while working with real-world data without risking real money.

Trading during the Investment Competition primarily involves the buying and selling of stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) from various domestic and international exchanges. Teams are only allowed to buy and sell stocks and ETFs from the competition’s Approved Stock & ETF List. No stocks or ETFs from outside the Approved Stock & ETF List should be recommended to the client, included as part of the team’s investment strategy, or traded on WInS.

Advisors are responsible for registering both themselves and their student team(s) for the competition. After they register, Advisors will receive a confirmation email with instructions to access their WInS account and how to set up the student team accounts. Once the student team accounts are created on WInS, Advisors will be able provide their team(s) with their team WInS login information. Teams will be able to access WInS during the pre-competition period, but will not be able to buy or sell stocks and/or ETFs until the trading period begins on September 25, 2023.

Each team shares one account on WInS. All team members will use the same username and password to access WInS.

All teams must fully execute one trade on WInS by the close of the U.S. markets (4:00 p.m. ET) on October 13, 2023 in order to be eligible to advance to the Semifinals or Global Finale.

Additionally, all teams must build a sector diversified portfolio when they submit their midterm report on October 30, 2023, in order to be eligible to advance to the Semifinals and Global Finale. This means as a minimum requirement, each team must be invested in as many sectors as they have team members. (e.g., If you have five team members you must be invested in five different sectors on WInS.) Each team portfolio must also include at least one ETF.

Once the competition trading period is active, teams can buy or sell shares at any time during the competition. The trading period ends on December 1, 2023.

WInS is active during the hours of the U.S. stock market on weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time  (ET). However, you can still place U.S. equity trade orders when the U.S. stock market is closed. Your trade will be filled at the open price of the stock once the U.S. stock market reopens the next day.

WInS executes all U.S. trades at real time prices (the actual price of the stock at that moment in time). Please note that although trades are executed at real time prices, and that the bid and ask prices are real time; the prices that you see in your open positions (prior to when a sale or purchase closes) are delayed by 10–15 minutes.

International equities not based in the U.S. experience a longer time delay. These equity orders will go through at the end of the trading day. If a trade is placed for an international equity at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, it will clear at the end of Tuesday. Also, exchange rate calculations are done automatically when making trades in foreign markets. No extra work is required on your part, though it is good to be aware of potential gains/losses you may experience due to exchange rates.

You do not need to exchange money in a different currency. It is done automatically when buying and selling.

Teams can make up to 200 trades during the course of the competition.


Team investment portfolios must include at least one stock from as many sectors as teams have members. If a team has five members, it must be invested in five different sectors. Teams must maintain this required diversification throughout the entire competition. So, if a team sells the one utilities stock from its portfolio at some point during active competition trading, it must then invest in a new utilities stock or a stock from another sector in which it is not yet invested to replace that sold stock.

Trading Outside the U.S.

If you’re not based in the U.S., please keep the following in mind throughout the competition:

Consider the time difference between your country and the U.S. stock market. For example, if you are trading in India, you are 9.5 hours ahead of ET. Therefore, you have a window of several evening hours to actively place trades while the U.S. market is open. So, when the U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. ET, it is actually 7:00 p.m. in India. The early evening hours might be a good window for your team to meet in person or virtually when you are deciding to actively place trades.

We do NOT expect you to stay up in the middle of the night to place trades while the U.S. stock market is open. Remember, the Wharton Global High School Investment Competition is not a trading competition, and therefore day trading (the buying and selling of stocks on the same day to take advantage of small price fluctuations) is not necessary. The majority of your strategy should be focused on a long-term, buy-and-hold approach, which will not require a lot of buying and selling of stocks once you have, through analysis, determined your best portfolio mix. We do expect you to do some trading once you have built your portfolio; however, you should be strategic about this and not feel pressured to buy and sell frantically at all hours of the night. The bottom line is that you are NOT trying to prove the worthiness of your overall team portfolio/strategy by how much it grows over 10 weeks of trading.