Student Investor Challenge Rules

The rules for the Student Investor Challenge are very simple, but very important. Please note that The London Institute of Banking & Finance reserve the right to amend these rules at any time.

Eligibility Rules

The Student Investor 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 number of prizes. More details on prizes.

Registration Rules

  1. Registration opens at 9am on 4 September 2017 and closes at midnight on 17 November 2017.
  2. Only teachers can register teams. Registering a team requires that you have a Teacher Reference Number. These will be sent to schools in early September 2017. Alternatively teachers may request a reference number online once registration is open.
  3. Teachers must not disclose their Teacher Reference Number to their students as they will be able to make changes to other teams from that school. Doing so may result in disqualification.
  4. All stages of the team registration process must be carried out by a teacher, not by students. Teams discovered to have been registered by students may be disqualified at our discretion.
  5. Student teams must consist of four members who will be aged between 14 and 19 on 31 August 2018.
  6. Each school or college can enter as many teams as they wish.
  7. Registered UK teams are no longer allocated to a geographical region – all judging now takes place on a national basis.
  8. A student may only be a member of one participating team and team membership cannot change during the challenge without prior permission from The London Institute of Banking & Finance. Students found to be a member of more than one team may cause all teams to which they belong to be disqualified.
  9. If a team is altered in the main challenge without The London Institute of Banking & Finance's permission they will be disqualified.
  10. Teachers should be aware that team names will be displayed on the public website in conjunction with your school/college name. They are therefore strongly encouraged to carefully vet any team names which are suggested by students to ensure that they are appropriate.
  11. Any team name considered by The London Institute of Banking & Finance to be vulgar, insulting or otherwise inappropriate will be changed by the administrators and may also result in the team being disqualified. Team name changes are final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  12. Any attempts to hack into the site (e.g. by a student using a teacher's unique login number, using another team's name and password or by more dubious methods) will be grounds for instant disqualification.
  13. Should a disqualification occur, The London Institute of Banking & Finance's decision on disqualification is final and can only be negotiated through the formal appeals procedure. Appeals go through an independent committee. Once a team has been disqualified from the challenge the details of the appeals committee will be forwarded to their teacher contact should that teacher contact indicate that they wish to contest the decision.

Trading Rules for Round One

  1. The Student Investor Challenge Stock Market operates on the same trading days as the London Stock Exchange. On days when it is operating, the 'Student Investor Challenge Stock Market' opens at 9am and closes at 4.30pm (except on certain days around Christmas when trading finishes at 12.30pm). Details regarding public holidays and early closing are on the London Stock Exchange website.
  2. Trades requested outside the operating hours of the 'Student Investor Challenge Stock Market' will not be processed until the 'Student Investor Challenge Stock Market' next opens. Such trades will be processed at the opening price of the stock in question on the day that it is processed which is likely to be different from the price displayed when the trade was requested. Note that no trading is possible between 6am and 9am UK time.
  3. Teams must now invest in two portfolios. These are termed the Active Investor portfolio (which allows daily trading) and the Strategic Investor portfolio (which only allows a limited number of trades per month). Unless stated otherwise all the trading rules listed below apply equally to both portfolios.
  4. With the Strategic Investor portfolio, teams are restricted to a maximum of 10 trades per calendar month. A trade is defined as the purchase or sale of stock in one company/ETF.
  5. There is no longer a limit to the number of companies that a team can invest in. However, you should note that the rules regarding maximum and minimum investments in a particular company/ETF remain in place and consider the new rule regarding the Windfall Tax discussed below.
  6. The Windfall Tax: Any team holding more than £15,000 in virtual cash on either portfolio at the end of a trading day will be fined £1,000 on that portfolio. The Windfall Tax will be first applied 8 days after a team starts trading in that portfolio. There is no limit to the number of times that a team can fall liable to the Windfall Tax during the challenge.
  7. Trading in round one of the Student Investor Challenge for both the Active Investor and Strategic Investor portfolios opens at 9am on 23 October 2017 and closes at 4.30pm on 26 January 2018.
  8. The Active Investor and Strategic Investor portfolios operate completely independently of one another – virtual cash and investments cannot be transferred between portfolios.
  9. Each team registered before the challenge starts will have a 'virtual cash pile' of £100,000 to invest for each of their Active Investor and Strategic Investor portfolios. Once the challenge starts the figure for each portfolio is index-linked to the FTSE-100 until the team starts trading in that portfolio. So, if the team cannot start trading immediately when the market opens on 23 October 2017 they will not be at a disadvantage.
  10. Teams can invest in stock chosen from a list designated 'FTSE 100 companies' (based on the constituents of the FTSE 100 at the end of August 2017), a list of around 50 selected smaller companies designated the 'SmallCap 50' and a list of specially selected exchange traded funds (ETFs). The London Institute of Banking & Finance reserve the right to alter the constituents of these lists at any time without notice.
  11. When a team buys stock from the 'FTSE 100' or 'SmallCap 50' they will be charged stamp duty reserve tax and flat rate commission.
  12. When a team buys stock in an ETF they will be charged flat rate commission.
  13. When a team sells stock of any type (including ETFs) they will be charged flat rate commission.
  14. Should a company's stock or an ETF be withdrawn from the challenge, compensation in the form of extra 'virtual cash' will be made to those teams that hold said item at the time of withdrawal at a rate determined by The London Institute of Banking & Finance. No other compensation will be offered and the rate of compensation will be non-negotiable. Teams should ensure that in this scenario they arrange to reinvest the 'virtual cash' as soon as possible to avoid being affected by the Windfall Tax.
  15. Investment trusts (also known as 'funds') no longer feature in the game.
  16. The minimum investment in any one stock is £1,000.
  17. A team can invest up to a maximum of 20% of their overall portfolio value in any one company or ETF.
  18. All stock market data is genuine live data, provided courtesy of Bloomberg, but may be delayed by up to 15 minutes so should not be used for trading decisions outside of the challenge.
  19. For the Active Investor portfolio, a 'monthly challenge' prize is offered to the most improved team every month (view prizes). This is defined as the team whose portfolio value has shown the greatest growth in percentage terms over the course of that month. A team can only win this prize once.
  20. For the Active Investor portfolio, judging for the monthly challenge occurs at the close of trading on the last trading day of each month.
  21. Should the data shown on the Student Investor Challenge site differ from data shown elsewhere on the internet the data shown on the Student Investor Challenge site will be considered to be correct for the purposes of the challenge. This means teams should always base their final trading decisions on the information provided by the Student Investor Challenge website, not on information found elsewhere.
  22. On a per portfolio basis, there is a limit of 1 transaction per team per company/ETF per day. This restriction refers to the day that a trade is processed, which may be different from the day on which it was requested (see above).
  23. On a per portfolio basis, each team can own a maximum of 0.01% of the available shares in any one company or ETF.
  24. On a per portfolio basis, the sum of all teams taking part in the challenge can own a maximum of 0.5% of the available shares in any one company or ETF. If 0.5% of a company/ETF is already in the ownership of teams taking part in the challenge then no further purchases of stock in that company/ETF will be possible by any team until such a time as some stock is sold by teams that currently hold said stock.
  25. To be eligible to receive dividend payments from a company, teams must hold stock in the company paying the dividend at the start of trading on its ex dividend date (i.e. the stock must have been purchased before the ex dividend date). The dividend payment will be added to the team's 'virtual cash pile' on the dividend payment date.
  26. No dividends will be paid on ETFs.

Qualifying for the Semi-finals

500 teams will qualify for the semi-finals and there are no restrictions on the number of teams who can qualify from each school. Qualification for the semi-finals is based on the relative performance of each of the teams as of the close of trading on 26 January 2018 and is determined as follows:

  1. The top 250 teams with the lowest combined rank across both portfolio leagues progress automatically. In the event of a tie the team with the highest combined portfolio value progresses.
  2. These qualified teams are removed from further calculations.
  3. The top 100 teams remaining on the Active Investor portfolio league progress.
  4. These qualified teams are removed from further calculations.
  5. The top 100 teams remaining on the Strategic Investor portfolio league progress.
  6. These qualified teams are removed from further calculations.
  7. The best 50 performing teams based on percentage portfolio gain of their Active Investor portfolio in January 2018 progress.

Semi-finals Rules

  1. Each week there will be a selection of stocks and/or ETFs for which the team need to enter price predictions. The exact number of stocks/ETFs may differ from week to week.
  2. Details of the stock/ETF selection for the week will be released at 9am on Monday morning of the week in question.
  3. The closer the team's prediction is to the price of the stock at close of trading on Friday that week, the more points the team will score for that prediction.
  4. Teams can change their predictions at any time before midday on Friday. So, if market conditions change and the team thinks the predictions they put in at the start of the week are now going to be wildly out they can change them whenever they like. However:
    • Starting from start of trading on Tuesday, the earlier in the week the team enters their prediction, the more points they will score.
    • Predictions entered before the start of trading on Tuesday will count as if they were entered at the start of trading on Tuesday. So teams have all day on Monday to do their research and enter their first predictions without having to rush.
  5. The semi-finals run over the course of 4 weeks and each week is scored separately. The final scores for each week are calculated based on the closing prices on the last day of trading that week.
  6. Each team's total semi-final score will be the sum of their best 3 weeks' performance over the 4 weeks of the semi-finals (i.e. their lowest scoring week is discarded).
    Note: During the final week of the semi-finals, for teams that have taken part in all four weeks, their weakest week's performance is automatically deducted each time the league tables are calculated. Therefore, if a team's weakest performance is during the final week of the semi-finals you will observe no change in the overall score of that team during the final week of the semi-final.
  7. At the end of the semi-finals, the highest scoring teams will be invited to the live national final.
  8. For guidance only: The heatmap diagram below gives an indication of how we calculate the score for each prediction according to how accurate it is and when it is entered. Each cell in the diagram shows the weighting factor we use for calculating a score for a particular prediction. The higher the weighting factor, the more points a team will score for that prediction.
    Heatmap of semi-finals scores