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Top traders hit a winning streak

Financial savvy pays off for pupil investments that kept on growing. Emma Seith reports

Financial savvy pays off for pupil investments that kept on growing. Emma Seith reports

After three hours of frantic trading, two pupils from Dollar Academy triumphed at last month's inaugural Scottish Schools Investment Challenge in Edinburgh. Calum Macpherson and Calum Munro took the top prize - spending time with traders on Standard Life Investment's trading desk - after compiling the largest investment portfolio.

Over 800 S5 pupils from across Scotland took part in the challenge, designed to give them an insight into the financial sector and develop their business skills. The competition was sponsored by Standard Life, Skills Development Scotland and Scottish Investment Operations, and delivered by educational publisher 10 Lane Learning.

During May and June, 16 and 17-year-olds in 36 schools worked in pairs, using Global Investor, an online game, to deliver the greatest return on their investment. This required them to apply mathematical techniques, improve their business and economic understanding, and work in a competitive and time-pressured environment.

At the end of the qualifying round, a pair from each of the top eight schools was invited to compete in the grand final at Standard Life's head office in Edinburgh. The other finalists were: Carnoustie High, Angus; The Royal High, Firrhill High and Stewart's Melville College in Edinburgh; Grangemouth High, Falkirk; Preston Lodge High, East Lothian, and Glenrothes High, Fife.

Jill MacLean, head of sustainability at Standard Life, said: "The ability to manage finances is a fundamental life skill which all students should be encouraged to learn. This initiative encourages the students to analyse and interpret information to make informed financial decisions."

Ian Hanson, manager of financial and business services at Skills Development Scotland, said: "The S5 Investment Challenge is a great way for young people to get an insight into how market trading works . The challenge comes at a time when the diverse range of careers in the sector are being promoted, via the Financial Services Skills Gateway and on websites such as re:think."

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