Young entrepreneurs from across South Wales experienced the bear pit atmosphere of the trading floor when the Stock Market Challenge came to The Coal Exchange in Cardiff on June 29 and 30.
Two events, one for Year 10 pupils (June 29) and one for Year 12 pupils (June 30), gave young people the chance to experience the excitement of trading in company stocks and foreign exchange, just like real-life brokers do every day on trading floors and on-line all over the world.
Each team of five used an initial £35,000 investment to interpret and analyse information from the stock market to finance their deals and build a portfolio of shares during an intense two hour simulated live trading session. The one with the highest portfolio at the closing bell won a £1,000 cheque for their school from Black Horse.
The Year 10 event on June 29 was won by a team from Abersychan Comprehensive School, Pontypool, with a portfolio value of £301,200. In second and third place were Bassaleg School, Newport (£234,500) and Oakdale Comprehensive, Blackwood (£234,400).
The Year 12 event on June 30 were Cyfarthfa High School, Merthyr Tydfil, with a portfolio value of £371,600, ahead of a team from Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf, Cardiff (£305,900) and one from Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr, Cardiff (£282,500).
Stock Market Challenge was organised and co-sponsored by Black Horse, part of the Lloyds TSB Group based in Cardiff, and the Cardiff hub of the First Campus project, based in the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC). Staff from both organisations also took part in the event as traders, running the dealing pit, and as a team on the trading floor.
Ian OHare, Head of Corporate Communication at Black Horse, said: Every one of the teams involved rose to the challenge of this exciting event. It was an experience they can build on in their careers where decisions have to be made quickly, calculated risks taken and team-working is essential. It was also a fun learning experience which we were delighted to support.
Amidst the excitement of the trading, perhaps the best moment for the pupils came at the half way recess on each day when Blues stars including Dean Dewdney, Nick Macleod and Tristan Davies dropped by to lend their tips on when to buy and sell.