A close-knit team comprising students from the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) has won the May monthly prize in the University category of the JSE Investment Challenge.
Team “Dancing In The Dark” shows that bringing together a diverse set of skills, opinions, and ideas can be a source of strength.
Members of this team are students pursuing fields of study in different faculties including actuarial science, health sciences, and accountancy.
Roberto Coelho, in his fourth year studying towards a Chartered Accountancy qualification, says a person’s field of study has nothing to do with being successful in this competition.
“It is your field of interest that matters the most. All three of us are interested in current affairs, business, reading newspapers, and listening to podcasts on financial and business matters,” says Coelho.
Good team dynamics are also important in getting results as members of Dancing in the Dark have demonstrated.
The three members of the team know and understand each other very well.
Gabriella Paddock, a fourth-year medical student, is Roberto’s partner while Ricardo Coelho – the second-year actuarial science student – is his brother.
According to Roberto, their investment strategy was ‘very simple, “we researched different philosophies, looked for good businesses with good cash flow”, a philosophy he says was borrowed from world-famous billionaire investor Warren Buffett.
Ralph Speirs, CSI Officer at the JSE says he is impressed with the effort that the learners and students are putting into developing competitive strategies to get ahead in the competition.
The Investment Challenge competition aims to add financial literacy to their body of knowledge but not at the expense of their existing school and university academic commitments.
Roberto says although the three are pursuing careers that may be considered quite demanding, participating in the Investment Challenge is their preferred way of spending their downtime.
“It is challenging and yes there is pressure to succeed, but when you are actually interested in what you are doing it does not seem like work at all. I enjoy learning about finance, so this is my way to unwind,” adds Roberto.
Even for Gabriella, who is now entering the most challenging phase of her medical studies, does find time for the competition because she values the importance of being financially literate.
“Gabriella is interested in finance, we all have to be financially literate in today’s society, she realises that because she appreciates the value of being in charge of your own financial destiny,” says Roberto.
The one thing that Roberto believes Gabriella and the two brothers have in common is discipline. “You don’t have to be a genius to be a successful investor, you need discipline,” insists Roberto.
He says working and studying from home does present an opportunity for one to be easily distracted.
“You can choose to watch movies or spend your time productively,” says Roberto.
To Gabriella, Roberto, and Ricardo, the Investment Challenge is not just a game but “a very good way to learn about the real world”.
Another team of finance and business enthusiasts is CHS WallStreet from Claremont High School in the Western Cape who won the May monthly prize in the speculator portfolio for the high school part of the competition.
The team has four members including Lathitha Caza, Gerard Umegbolu, Litha Thembela, and Muhammad Ridhaa Adams.
Lathitha says he learned about the JSE Investment Challenge from an acquittance based in Stellenbosch and immediately decided to assemble a team at his school.
Team CHS WallStreet is the only team registered from Claremont High School but Lathitha is hopeful that their triumph will ignite interest in the competition at his school.
Given their busy schedules and the need to ensure that they do not fall behind in their academic work, team CHS WallStreet meets on weekends to develop strategies and decide how they are going to structure their investment portfolio.
All four members of team CHS WallStreet want to pursue careers in business, although Ridhaa-the technical genius in the team according to Lathitha- has medicine as his second option.
Winners for the May 2022 monthly Investment Challenge competition include:
Kwanzaa-ACCP from ACUDEO College Crystal Park in Gauteng
Maulana Karenga-ACCP from ACUDEO College Crystal Park in Gauteng
Speculator portfolio for schools:
CHS WallStreet from Claremont High School in the Western Cape province
Speculator portfolio for universities:
Dancing in the Dark from the University of the Witwatersrand, in Gauteng.