Wharton Global Youth Hosts Five Virtual Events to Announce the 2024 Investment Competition Finalists

by Diana Drake

Macroeconomics looks at the performance, structure, decision-making and behavior of an economy.

This is a fitting concept to apply to last week’s Wharton Global High School Investment Competition semifinals, which involved the top 50 investment competition teams in the Wharton School investment challenge, as well as several of the judges who evaluated the teams’ semifinal video presentations.

During five virtual events, hosted in the Wharton Academic Virtual Environment (WAVE) room by Wharton Global Youth senior executive director Eli Lesser (pictured above), observers witnessed major macro-competition metrics, from stories of team performance and strategic structure to deeply collaborative decision-making.

And behavior? Enthusiastic cheers and fist pumps from each group followed the announcements of the top teams that have been chosen to advance to the end game.

The 11 teams moving on to the 2024 Wharton Investment Competition Global Finale are (in alphabetical order):

  • Ace Analysts, Peddie School, New Jersey, U.S.
  • Big Apple Investments, Stuyvesant High School, New York, U.S.
  • DMV’s Finest, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Tech, Virginia, U.S.
  • Dulwich Investors, Dulwich College Beijing, China
  • Finance Bros 🤑, The Harker School, California, U.S.
  • InvestIQ, Jayshree Periwal International School, Jaipur, India
  • Serve and Set Finances, Amity International School, Saket, India
  • Spark Investments, Bergen County Academies, New Jersey, U.S.
  • Turkey Traders, Richard Montgomery High School, Maryland., U.S.
  • Wolf of Western Co., Western Canada High School, Calgary, Canada
  • Wreckers Wealth Management, Staples High School, Connecticut, U.S.

These finalist teams are already busy refining their investment-strategy presentations that they will deliver to a panel of industry judges on Wharton’s Philadelphia campus on April 20. Finalist teams are also invited to attend a campus Learning Day on April 19. Check out last year’s day of learning and networking for a hint of what’s to come.

‘Happening in the Real World’

The semifinal judges attending each of the five events offered some reflections to the 50 teams, who were selected from a batch of more than 1,600 that submitted final investment competition reports back in December 2023.

“I feel that the future of risk management is in good hands by having such incredible young people from across the world bringing diverse perspectives and experiences to the world of investing,” said Marcus Shaw, CEO of AltFinance, an initiative that aims to expand opportunities for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the alternative investment industry that has partnered with the Wharton School. Shaw served as a semifinals judge for the Wharton Global Youth competition this year.  “I love the fact that people took different approaches to thinking about the macroeconomic factors and thinking about how do you assess that risk? How do you develop risk-monitoring metrics for different changes in the macro environment and other constraints around ESG? I thought it was incredible that we had people that did straight fundamental bottom-up analysis, and we had people that utilized machine-learning algorithms to screen through a universe of securities. That’s what’s happening in the real world.”

Judge Jeanette Ourada, retired vice president and controller of the Chevron Corp., added: “Your creative videos demonstrated your client focus and financial knowledge. The part I enjoyed the most was hearing about how you assessed each member’s skills and learned to work together as a team. You should all be very proud of your learning journey.”

“This competition is undoubtedly the best exposure to learning about finance, investment banking, asset management and management in practicality rather than just theory.”  – Akshita S., Team Leader, The Beats of D Street

Many of the student team leaders, who spoke throughout the week’s virtual semifinals on everything from team dynamics and creativity to the addition of ETFs in this year’s investment portfolios, agreed that the Wharton Global High School Investment Competition was a profound learning journey.

Akshita S. of Amity International School Noida, India, team leader of the Beats from D Street, said, “This competition is undoubtedly the best exposure to learning about finance, investment banking, asset management and management in practicality rather than just theory. We also learned a lot about pitching in the right way…Our presentation draws inspiration from music, and the perfect song can’t be composed without every layer and every part of it coming together. And similarly, our team couldn’t either.”

Serve, Set, Spike

The semifinalist teams also heard from their competition client, Hilary Ash, the vice president of games delivery and venue infrastructure for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

During a taped video message, she said, “I’m here to wish you the best of luck for the rest of the competition and already extend a huge congratulations for what you’ve accomplished so far… [Your] ambitious spirit and practical problem solving will continue to serve you well as you take on the next steps in your academic and professional careers.”

And let’s not forget volleyball, a passion highlighted in Hilary Ash’s client profile that inspired great creativity among student teams’ competition investment strategies. Professional portfolio manager and semifinals judge Joshua Tam of Laurel Avenue Management shared this with the teams: “The one thing that stood out to me was the ability to connect the client’s objectives to an investment strategy. I myself am pretty involved in volleyball, like the client. I’m a club coach here in Southern California and also a coach at the school level. So, a lot of your creativity resonated with me.”

Wharton Global Youth celebrates the incredible efforts of all the teams that have followed through on this investment competition journey since September 2023. The top 50 teams will receive certificates, digital badges to display on social media, Wharton Global Youth swag, and free access to PitchQuest, a new AI-powered simulation that teaches critical entrepreneurship skills.

Congratulations to the Top 11 teams advancing to the Wharton Global High School Investment Competition Global Finale! The Wharton Global Youth team can’t wait to greet you on campus next month on April 19 and 20. Tune into our newsroom and our monthly newsletter for the latest investment competition updates, including registration kickoff for the 2024-2025 competition in June. Exciting changes are in the works!