About Student Investor Challenge

The Student Investor Challenge is a UK wide investment game for students with a top prize of a trip to New York. On top of that, both the winning team members and their school/college get prize money to spend as well! There are also other prizes on offer throughout the challenge – check out all the prizes here. Teachers can also try and beat their students in the first round of the competition (but they won't be eligible for the prizes).

Want a visual intro to the challenge? Watch our video guides.


What does the challenge involve?

The Student Investor Challenge is designed for teams of four students and has three rounds. The competition is open to teams from anywhere in the world, however teams from schools based outside the UK are only able to take part in the first round of the challenge and are only eligible for a limited subset of the prizes on offer.

  • Round One – 17 October 2016 to 27 January 2017:
    Using this website, teams will invest their virtual money in a set of stocks and other investment instruments. This year, teams must create two portfolios rather than one:
    • The Active Investor portfolio allows teams to trade every day. Each month, the team with the most improved Active Investor portfolio will be rewarded with a prize (maximum one prize per team).
    • The Strategic Investor portfolio only allows a limited number of trades per month, encouraging long term thinking.
    Teams have a virtual £100,000 to invest in each portfolio*. Teams are strongly advised to invest the full amount of cash they have at all times, as teams keeping more than £15,000 in cash in either portfolio will be subject to a daily Windfall Tax of £1,000.
  • Semi-finals – 20 February 2017 to 17 March 2017:
    A total of 500 teams from UK schools will compete against each other in a four week online semi-final from 20 February 2017 to 17 March 2017. The semi-finalists will be selected as follows:
    • First, we take the top 250 teams based on combined performance of their Active Investor and Strategic Investor portfolios.
    • Next, with these teams discounted, the top 100 teams based solely on their Active Investor performance.
    • Then, the top 100 teams based solely on their Strategic Investor performance.
    • Finally, we take the 50 best performing teams based on percentage portfolio gain of their Active Investor portfolio in January 2017. This is a great chance for 'late-chargers' to gain a place in the semi-finals.
    For each week of the semi-finals, teams will need to correctly predict the closing price of certain assets by the end of trading on that Friday. Points will be awarded each week according to how accurately the closing price has been predicted and how long the prediction has been held. A team's overall score at the end of the semi-finals is the sum of their best three week's performance out of four (i.e. their worst performing week is discounted).
  • Finals – 3 May 2017:
    The eight best performing teams from the semi-finals will be invited to the live national final. The finalists will take part in a number of business challenges and the winning team will receive a trip to New York!

*Teams starting to trade after the Student Investor Challenge has started have their starting money index linked to the FTSE 100 to ensure every team has an equal chance of winning the competition.

Be sure to read the full trading rules for detailed information on how and when teams can trade in each portfolio.

Practice game

To help you get into the swing of things, we also have a practice game which will be available to registered teams from 19 September 2016 until 14 October 2016. Participation in the practice game is not mandatory and teams may join the practice game at any time. No prizes, no pressure, it's the perfect way to prepare for the live challenge.

The Guru

In addition to the student and teacher teams taking part, the Share Guru is playing along this year as well. The Share Guru uses her knowledge of the markets to put together what she hopes will be winning portfolios. The Share Guru's performance is displayed on all of the league tables so this can be used as a benchmark to see how well the other teams are doing. As an incentive, any team that performs better than the Share Guru in the Active Investor competition each month will receive an extra £500 of virtual cash to invest. Performance is measured in terms of percentage gain in portfolio value that month.

How do teams register?

Each team must consist of four students who will be aged 14-19 on 31 August 2017. Each school/college can register as many teams as they like, but each student can only belong to one team. All members of a team must be from the same school/college and each team must have the support of a teacher.

Teachers can register teams on this website between 19 September 2016 and 18 November 2016 using their Teacher Reference Number (see below). Teachers and lecturers can also play, to see if they can beat their students. Teacher teams can have as many members as you like but are not eligible for any of the prizes on offer.

What is a 'Teacher Reference Number'?

This is a seven digit number supplied to teachers by The London Institute of Banking & Finance. These will be sent to schools in early September 2016. Once registration is open, teachers who have not already received one can request a Teacher Reference Number through this website.

How do teams know which shares to trade?

Once registered, teams will be able to access a whole host of extra information on this website to help them make good investment decisions.

What are the rules of the game?

You can find the full rulebook here.