The Results Are In: Western Trade Wrangles Top Honors

The six students from West Ranch High School's Western Trade team (yellow ties) took home first-prize winnings of $3,000. They are pictured here with three Aberdeen Asset Management judges and their teacher, Linda Cox (right).
The six students from West Ranch High School’s Western Trade team (yellow ties) took home first-prize winnings of $3,000. They are pictured with three Aberdeen Asset Management judges and their teacher, Linda Cox (right).

PHILADELPHIA, April 30, 2015 – 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 the winners of the 2014-2015 KWHS Investment Competition, which is run by KWHS and sponsored by Aberdeen.

Teams from West Ranch High School in Stevenson Ranch, Calif., Narsee Monjee School of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai, India, and Gaithersburg High School of Gaithersburg, Md., were selected from among an elite group of some 50 high schools nationwide and globally that participated in the competition. The winning high schools were announced during an event on April 30 at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where the top analyst teams received prizes of $3,000, $1,500 and $500 respectively.

Twelve teams of high school students competed during the Wharton Day Finale event by presenting their final investment strategies to a panel of Aberdeen judges. Those teams included the winners – Western Trade from West Ranch High School, The Titans of Dalal Street from Narsee Monjee and the Trojans from Gaithersburg High School – as well as the remaining nine finalist teams. They were: The Rainmakers from Amity International School in Saket, India; the Mavericks from Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High School in Southwest Ranches, Fl., 5 Round Lots from Wilson High School in West Lawn, Pa.; The Seven Stocketeers from William W. Bodine High School in Philadelphia; Hands on Money from James Madison High School in Brooklyn, N.Y., T-DOT and Hulkador from Williamsburg Academy, on online high school; Who Let the Stocks Out from Carmel Junior College in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, India; and Akamai Investors from Waipahu High School in Waipahu, Hawaii. The teams from Bodine High School and Carmel Junior College won Honorable Mentions from the judges.

“The Investment Competition Finale is an annual highlight for our team at Knowledge@Wharton High School,” says Diana Drake, managing editor of the online KWHS business journal and resource portal and project manager for KWHS’s offline initiatives that promote finance and business skills among high school educators and students. “We are always so impressed by the students’ grasp of investing concepts and strategies – which for many are very new – and their ability to articulate their knowledge to a professional audience. We had more teams than ever this year travel to the Wharton campus to present their strategies, flying in for the event from as far away as India internationally and California in the U.S. The caliber of the teams and their commitment to financial education grow stronger each year.”

During the Wharton Day Finale event on April 30, nine teams presented live to a room of students, educators and professionals in Wharton’s Huntsman Hall, while three teams delivered their presentations to the group via videoconference. Each team of four-to-nine students was required to provide a 10-minute overview of its investment strategy and teamwork approach throughout the 12-week competition, as well as present a case study of one stock that helped to drive the team’s strategy. At the end of each presentation, Aberdeen judges asked specific questions to evaluate how well team members could think on their feet about their stated strategies and use some of the concepts they had learned throughout the investing process.

Top teams often identify creative approaches to help develop and define their strategies. The four-student team of the Trojans from Gaithersburg High School, for instance, used a stock-picking technique they named “The Trojan Ten,” a measure of 10 different attributes that they assessed for each equity as a means of deciding which stocks in which to invest.

Trojan team leader Parker Rist, a senior at Gaithersburg, is very excited about his team’s third-place competition win. “The KWHS-Aberdeen Investment Competition was an unforgettable and incredibly rewarding experience,” says Rist. “To be chosen as one of the three winners was truly more than we could have ever asked for. Thanks to Knowledge@Wharton High School and Aberdeen Asset Management, we have expanded our financial literacy, delved into the world of stock trading and visited one of the most prestigious business schools in the world.”

Rist’s teacher and team advisor, Kimberly Jackson, says the entire experience was extremely rewarding, and she is looking forward to competing again next year with a new group of students. “The Knowledge@Wharton High School Investment Competition sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management was an incredible opportunity for my students,” says Jackson. “As an educator, [I feel] it is imperative that students have the opportunity to extend their learning beyond the classroom where they can benefit from the expertise of professionals as well as their peers. This competition allowed the students to identify their individual strengths while working collaboratively and truly gaining a greater appreciation of financial and investments strategies, communication skills, professionalism and networking.”

Aberdeen has sponsored the KWHS Investment Competition for the past four years. In that time, the competition has expanded past its initial Philadelphia focus to include schools from across the U.S., India and Dubai. For more information about the investment competition or Knowledge@Wharton High School, please contact Diana Drake at investkwhs(at)gmail.com.

About the Wharton School, Knowledge@Wharton and Knowledge@Wharton High School
Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates ongoing economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduateMBAexecutive MBA and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and a powerful alumni network of 92,000 graduates.

Knowledge@Wharton is the online business analysis journal of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The site, which is free, captures relevant knowledge generated at Wharton and beyond by offering articles and videos based on research, conferences, speakers, books and interviews with faculty and other experts on global business topics.

Knowledge@Wharton High School is an initiative of The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania that promotes business, financial literacy, entrepreneurship and leadership among high school students and educators around the world through quality online content and competitions.