CMC Markets Trading Challenge brings together young investors

The eleventh annual CMC Markets University of Auckland Trading Challenge has come to a close, with third-year commerce and science student, Karl Peng securing first place from among a field of more than 150 teams.

L-R: Chris Smith (CMC Markets), Karl Peng (winner).

The annual competition, hosted in association with the University of Auckland’s Management Consulting Club (MCC), gives students an opportunity to put their investment strategies to practice with a range of financial derivative instruments, including cryptocurrencies, gold and silver commodities, forex and shares via the CMC Markets online trading platform.

This year’s competition saw over 150 teams, from the University of Auckland, AUT, Massey University and Otago University, battle it out in real-world financial markets. Over four weeks, the contestants used a virtual fund of $250,000 to test their knowledge and trade for the best returns.

Peng earned the top place with an impressive return on investment (ROI) of 83.63% and a final account balance of $450,000.

“I enjoyed the competition as it gave us an excellent opportunity to practice trading tactics in real world markets. Some of my main strategies included utilising both long and short positions, focusing on highly volatile products and mitigating risk by setting up my bottom line to lose," says Peng.

“The experience taught me some valuable lessons such as investing in a few products that I really understood, and not being greedy when accepting profits.”

In second place was University of Otago commerce and engineering conjoint student, Jason Zhao, with a ROI of 36.71% .

In third place was accounting and economics student, Tony Tyler who achieved a ROI of 30.73% by focusing on cryptocurrency. Tyler decided to go all in on the cryptocurrency Ethereum (ETH) due to the current bull market and it proved a successful strategy in the competition.

Chris Smith, General Manager at CMC Markets New Zealand, says, “Share trading continues to become more accessible to Kiwis, driven by fintech apps and zero trading fees. We’re pleased to see this growing interest and engagement in trading across all ages, which is demonstrated by the record number of students participating in this competition.

“This year’s contestants had the added challenge of competing in a global market still impeded by the Covid-19 pandemic. We also saw large fluctuations in the market driven by volatility in cryptocurrencies. The contestants were able to experience real trading in the global markets, all while fuelled by some healthy competition.”

Sean Flower and Henry Frear from the MCC Finance Events team, say the competition provides students with valuable experience trading on real world markets.

This year the Challenge saw over 150 teams from 4 different universities compete for the top prize. The teams had to battle with massively fluctuating markets, and complex new products like cryptocurrencies. 

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