The 2014 Investment Competition Finale Goes Global

The Aberdeen Asset Management team presents the winning $3,500 check to HTHS Investment Club from High Technology High School in Lincroft, N.J.
The Aberdeen Asset Management team presents the winning $3,500 check to HTHS Investment Club from High Technology High School in Lincroft, N.J.

PHILADELPHIA, May 29, 2014 – Knowledge@Wharton High School (KWHS) and Aberdeen Asset Management Inc., a global asset management firm with U.S. headquarters in Philadelphia, are pleased to announce that High Technology High School of Lincroft, N.J., Northwest High School of Germantown, Md., and Korea International School of Pangyo, South Korea, have won the 2013-2014 KWHS/Aberdeen Investment Competition.

Teams from High Technology High School, Northwest High School and Korea International School were selected from among an elite group of more than 30 high schools nationwide and globally that participated in the competition. The winning high schools were announced during an event on May 29 at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where the top analyst teams received prizes of $3,500, $1,500 and $500 respectively.

Ten teams of high school students competed during the event for the honor of top analysts. Those included the winners — HTHS Investment Club from High Technology High School, The Stockers from Northwest, and Risky Business from Korea International School — and the remaining finalists, The Seven Stocketeers and Future Legacy from Bodine High School for International Affairs in Philadelphia; 1% Asset Management and Upper Middle Class from Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park, N.Y.; Short & Stocky from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Md.; Team Marshmallow from Williamsburg Academy, a cyber school; and Toga Investments from Saratoga High School in Saratoga, Calif. While HTHS, The Stockers, The Seven Stocketeers, Future Legacy, Short & Stocky and 1% Asset Management presented in person on the Wharton campus, the remaining teams presented via Skype. Team Marshmallow’s members delivered their presentation simultaneously from Georgia, Nevada, Utah and California, with their teacher online from Illinois.

To kick off the event, surprise guest Jack Abraham, founder of Milo.com — which was sold to eBay for a reported $75 million — Skyped in with words of advice and inspiration from Italy. In the investment competition case study, Abraham is the potential client for whom the analyst teams of students are building a portfolio and investment strategy. Abraham is also featured in a popular KWHS article about successful entrepreneurship.

“Aberdeen is proud to support talented students and encourage financial education in high school curriculums,” says Gary Marshall, Chief Executive Officer at Aberdeen. “The students not only learn how to wisely invest and increase returns, they also gain invaluable professional and relevant experience that can be applied to their financial and career decisions.”

Aberdeen has partnered with Knowledge@Wharton High School, a Wharton School initiative that promotes financial literacy, business skills, entrepreneurship and leadership among high school students and teachers through innovative content and competitions like the Investment Competition. Now in its third year, the competition has expanded past its initial Philadelphia focus to include schools from 12 different states and South Korea.

“While understanding how to buy and sell stocks is one component of our investment competition, it is not the fundamental goal,” notes Diana Drake, managing editor of KWHS.“ As with all our KWHS business resources — including lesson plans, articles and a video glossary – we want to give teachers and students the tools to become more financially literate and, in this case, learn the concepts that support sound investment decision making. We were all extremely impressed with the range of investment knowledge that the students showed during today’s strategy presentations.”

Over the past five months, students at participating high schools have managed virtual portfolios of stocks using a Wharton trading platform known as OTIS. Students and teachers are able to use the platform, along with KWHS articles and lesson plans, as resources to learn basic tenants of investing and create well-thought-out, logical investment strategies.

Kevin Murley, a business teacher at Montgomery Blair High School who has had two teams reach the investment competition finale, has come to value the experience in many ways.

Our students have received tremendous benefit from participating in the investing challenge offered by Knowledge at Wharton High School and sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management,” notes Murley, whose team, Superiority Investment, won last year’s competition. “In many investing competitions, students are judged solely by their stock market results during a short time frame. In many cases, they leave having formed bad habits while chasing after risky trading strategies. In this competition, the students are required to develop a strategy paper that serves as the basis for a long-term outlook. They do have fun making trades and trying ideas via a stock market simulator, but just earning a higher dollar figure does not define success with the project. During the finals, the students have the opportunity to present and interact with professionals from Aberdeen Asset Management. The experience gained from going through a professional presentation and responding to tough questions from investment professionals has helped my students start to understand why their education is important and has helped them imagine where they can go in life if they continue to college and manage their money well.”

For more information about the investment competition or Knowledge@Wharton High School, please contact Diana Drake at investkwhs(at)gmail.com.