Rules for the 2023-2024 Wharton Global High School Investment Competition
Student teams must be comprised of members from the same high school and be current high school students. If the high school has various branches, teams must be comprised of students and an advisor from the same branch.
“High school” is typically secondary-level (no younger than 14, no older than 18 at the start of the competition), pre-university education, as defined by country (e.g., generally 9th – 12th grade in the United States).
Home-schooled students or privately tutored students working towards a G.E.D. (high school diploma) or non-U.S. equivalent may also compete.
A written request to form a team of home-schooled students must be submitted to email@example.com and approved by the Investment Competition team prior to registering.
If a team of home-schooled students advances to the Semifinals, each student will be required to provide one of the following items: a) Dated copy of a letter of intent to homeschool from the parent to the state or county in which the student resides; b) Copy of the current membership ID to a homeschool association; or c) Dated proof of purchase of curriculum for the current academic school year.
Additionally, home-schooled students are permitted to join a school-based team as long as the student lives in in the school district of the team they are joining. Should the team advance to the Semifinals, the home-schooled student will be required to provide one of the following items: a) Dated copy of a letter of intent to homeschool from the parent to the state or county in which the student resides; b) Copy of the current membership ID to a homeschool association; or c) Dated proof of purchase of curriculum for the current academic school year.
Participants must not have earned a high school/secondary school diploma before the competition begins on September 25, 2023.
A child of faculty or staff of the University of Pennsylvania is eligible to participate, as long as his or her parent or guardian is not part of the competition judging committee.
Teams are required to have one advisor, who must be a teacher/educator at the high school of their students’ team(s).
An advisor can oversee a maximum of five teams. However, there is no limit to the number of competing teams per school.
Advisors are responsible for registering their team(s). Students are NOT permitted to register for the competition on their own behalf or on behalf of their team. If this rule is violated the team might not be permitted to compete.
The use of paid advisors, education consultants, or other agents is prohibited. Similarly, no participant or team may enroll in any non-Wharton, extracurricular “course” (online or in-person) claiming to “teach” the Investment Competition. Teams suspected by the Wharton Global Youth Program of using paid advisors, education consultants, extracurricular coursework, or other agents will be disqualified from the competition. The Wharton Global Youth Program reserves the right to engage its employees and third-party private investigatory firms and/or forensic analysts to ensure compliance with the forgoing restriction, and to ensure that all teams are competing fairly.
Teams are not permitted to change their advisor. If a team needs to change their advisor due to extenuating circumstances, a written request must first be submitted to and approved by the Investment Competition team (firstname.lastname@example.org). Teams that attempt to change their advisor without first submitting a written request will be eliminated from the competition.
More information about the role of the advisor is available here.
Each team must maintain a minimum of four team members and a maximum of seven members from the very start of the competition.
Students are not permitted to participate on more than one team.
Students must form a team with members (and an advisor) from the same high school. The top 50 teams will be selected as semifinalists, regardless of where each team is from.
Teams are not permitted to contact the competition client. Teams that violate this rule will be disqualified.
Teams will be able to select a team name when they submit their midterm report on October 30, 2023. Teams should choose their own names, and have fun with it. Please use good judgment. Team names that use offensive or vulgar language, as determined by the Wharton Global Youth Program in its sole discretion, may be automatically disqualified. The Wharton Global Youth Program reserves the right to contact teams to mandate changes in team names that it deems inappropriate.
Teams can add or delete members, and students can switch teams until October 30, 2023, when the midterm reports are due. Final team names and rosters are submitted with the midterm reports. After October 30, if a team needs to drop team members due to extenuating circumstances, a written request must be submitted to and approved by the Investment Competition team (email@example.com). Teams that drop team members without first submitting a written request will be eliminated from the competition.
*Please Note: The trading rules will continue to be updated until the competition begins on September 25, 2023.
All trading takes place on WInS (the Wharton Investment Simulator). Teams will be able to access WInS during the pre-competition period but will not be able to place trades until the trading period begins at 9:30 AM (ET) on September 25.
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.
In addition to one stock from each sector, portfolios must include at least one ETF from the approved list.
A Trading Note that specifies the purpose of the trade and how it fits into the overall investment strategy must be included with each trade made on WInS. Students will be prompted to add a trading note before the trade can be executed.
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 from the 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.
Teams are also permitted to recommend that their client invest in U.S. Treasury bills, notes, bonds and Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS). However, teams will not be able to invest in bills, notes, bonds or TIPS on WInS. Teams should indicate in their final reports which bonds and/or notes they recommend for their client’s portfolio. Teams are not required to recommend that their client invest in bonds or notes. Teams whose final report includes investment recommendations other than cash, stocks and ETFs from the approved lists, and U.S. Treasury bills, notes, bonds and TIPS will NOT be eligible for the Semifinals or Global Finale. STRIPS, U.S. Savings Bonds (EE Bonds, I Bonds, and HH Bonds) and the use of stock-secured debt are NOT permitted as a part of your team’s strategy.
All teams must fully execute at least one trade on WInS by 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 and 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 (at least one stock per sector) 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.
Semifinals and Global Finale
Each team must submit two deliverables during the competition in order to be considered an “active” team eligible for the Semifinals and/or Global Finals: a midterm report and a final report. Please refer to the competition deliverables for additional details and due dates. The top 50 teams will be selected as semifinalists based on the strength of their final reports. Along with their final report teams will need to include documentation from their high school (on official school letterhead) indicating they have permission to compete and all students and the advisor are affiliated with the school.
You may use generative AI programs (e.g., tools like ChatGPT) to help generate ideas and brainstorm. However, you should note that the material generated by these programs may be inaccurate, incomplete, or otherwise problematic. Beware that use may also stifle your own independent thinking and creativity. You may not submit any work generated by an AI program as your own. If you include material generated by an AI program, it should be cited like any other reference material (with due consideration for the quality of the reference, which may be poor). Any plagiarism or other form of cheating will be dealt with severely under relevant Investment Competition policies. See Ethics and Code of Conduct policies below.
The Semifinals will be conducted virtually. If your team advances to the Global Finale in Philadelphia, Wharton Global Youth Program will not cover your costs and will not sponsor any students or advisors for visas or similar travel permissions. All costs, including travel and lodging of students and advisors, are the responsibility of the participants. Wharton Global Youth Program requires at least one adult (advisor, other educator from the school or parent/guardian) to accompany any team traveling to the Global Finale. Teams will be permitted to join the Global Finale virtually via live video stream, but must provide their own equipment necessary to connect live to the Semifinals and/or the Global Finale.
A Consent and Waiver of Liability must be signed by all semifinalists and global finalists (or a parent or legal guardian if the student is a minor under the age of 18). With this consent, Wharton Global Youth Program may use students’ names, high schools, cities, states, likenesses, photographs, and project details in various media in connection with the promotion of Wharton Global Youth Program or the Competition.
Video/audio recording or photography of presentations and/or participants during the Semifinals and/or Global Finale is not permitted. Unauthorized video/audio taping, photographs, screenshots or posting to the internet are grounds for dismissal from the competition.
All participants must abide by the University of Pennsylvania’s Policy of Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources.
All students on teams that submit and meet the minimum requirements of both deliverables will receive participation certificates in February 2024. All semifinalists and global finalists will also receive special certificates recognizing their achievements.
Each student member of the global champion team will receive a complimentary spot in our online summer program, Future of the Business World or Essentials of Leadership*.
Each student member from all 10 global finalist teams will have the course fee waived for our online course, Understanding Your Money*.
The Global Champion school will be permitted to fast-track one team to the semifinal round of the 2024-2025 competition. The team will still need to submit all the required deliverables.
*Student must meet course/program requirements. No prize substitutions are permitted except at the sole discretion of Wharton Global Youth Program, in which case a prize (or portion of the prize) of equal or greater value may be awarded. Prize(s) are not redeemable for cash. Contest and prizes void where prohibited.
All Wharton Global High School Investment competition team members are held to high personal ethical standards. The decisions you make from the moment you register for the competition should be honest and truthful to the best of your ability. This starts with your number of team members (you must have at least four active members at all times to compete) and ends with how you articulate your strategy and investment choices in your final papers — and includes everything in between. We trust that you will not lie about your investment decisions and outcomes, fabricate analyses, invent teamwork and experiential stories, compensate advisors, education consultants, or other agents, enroll in non-Wharton extracurricular courses that claim to “teach” the competition, or plagiarize existing strategies. If at any point you are unsure about a decision or situation, please reach out to the Wharton Global Youth Program team for clarification.
Students must abide by the University of Pennsylvania’s Code of Academic Integrity, which states a student’s work must be their own, and not be plagiarized from any other source, including advisors or “unofficial” advisors. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the use of another’s words or ideas as if they are one’s own. Plagiarism and any kind of academic cheating are grounds for dismissal from the competition. If at any point you are unsure about a decision or situation, please reach out to the Wharton Global Youth Program staff for clarification. Ethics are an essential aspect of money management. All teams should review the CFA Institute’s Asset Manager Code and operate by these standards. We expect you to read these rules and apply them to all you do on behalf of your potential client throughout the competition.
The Wharton Global Youth Program reserves the right to engage its employees and third-party private investigatory firms and/or forensic analysts to ensure compliance with the foregoing restrictions, and to ensure that all teams are competing fairly.
Code of Conduct
This Wharton Global High School Investment Competition Code of Conduct extends to how students and advisors treat teammates, supervisors, and the competition organizers. We expect teams to behave politely and respectfully through in-person, email and social media interactions, and to communicate any concerns or grievances with a courteous tone and language. The Wharton Global Youth Program will not tolerate negative, threatening or off-color behavior of any kind, and will sanction or disqualify teams for any such behavior at its sole discretion.
Each team is required to properly cite any sources used and acknowledge ownership of all images and other media that it submits as part of a deliverable or a presentation that it (or a team member) does not own or did not solely develop. Submitted materials that violate any laws or intellectual property restrictions, are offensive, incite violence, or are otherwise deemed inappropriate for viewing by the general public (for purposes of this competition) will not be accepted. Regardless of whether a team is selected as a Finalist, each team (and/or the students on such team) retains ownership of their own work.
The University of Pennsylvania, the policies of which govern the competition, prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.
You may use generative AI programs (e.g., tools like ChatGPT) to help generate ideas and to brainstorm. However, you should note that the material generated by these programs may be inaccurate, incomplete, or otherwise problematic. Beware that use may also stifle your own independent thinking and creativity. You may not submit any work generated by an AI program as your own. If you include material generated by an AI program, it should be cited like any other reference material (with due consideration for the quality of the reference, which may be poor). Any plagiarism or other form of cheating will be dealt with severely under relevant Investment Competition policies. See Ethics and Code of Conduct section above.