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THE SMART YOUTH INVESTMENT COMPETITION

The Nairobi Stocks Exchange (NSE) is planning to expand its annual Youth Investment challenge to cater for the groups out of learning institutions in the East African Region.
This is after the NSE investment challenge dubbed the “The Smart Youth Investment” recorded an increase in number of the participants in the last three years since its inception. The competition aims at simulating the trading at the NSE while assisting the youth to gain practical knowledge on the basics of savings.
Speaking during the award giving ceremony, the Chief Executive officer of the NSE, Peter Mwangi, said that due to NSE’s committement to increasing accessibility and the efficiency of the challenge, it will now look into broadening the platform to cater for the growing number.
“We are looking into broadening the competition to include investment groups and youth who are not in learning institutions, plans are also underway in rolling out the competition to East Africa and beyond,” said Mwangi.
The challenge reached 8,530 students from 123 institutions of higher learning of which 4,064 of the students registered for the challenge. This was a 72 per cent improvement from the 2010 competition.
The competition was for a period of 3 months.
The investment challenge is an innovative delivery channel that enables participant to access the game portal through mobile phones and other internet enabled equipments and is aimed at initiating young investors.
With an initial virtual startup capital to trade using the live trading data at the NSE, the participants were gauged on their knowledge on basic saving. However, despite the positive returns, the participants cited devaluation of currency, inflation and oil prices as the major challenges in realizing high returns.
“The escalating high fuel and food prices coupled with the depreciating value of the Kenyan shilling is the major challenge I faced during the competition, these impacted on the various companies performance as they were forced buy shares at low prices,” said Raymond Kipng’etich, the first runners up in the competition.
Kipng’etich managed to achieve a 40 per cent return on investment amounting to 670,000 shillings after liquidation. He is planning to start his own age fund project.
Elizabeth Mbula the second runners up said the inflationary rates forced her to rely on bonds to overcome the effects while the winner of the competition, Martin Wambua decided to set percentage limits to maintain his profits.
“I decided to set percentage limits to act as a stop loss analysis system,” said Wambua.
Despite the inflationary effects and low internet access coupled with the challenge of balancing the competition and school work, Wambua, a Daystar university student carried the day with a return of 948,000 shillings on investments.
The competition was sponsored by various investment partners including NIC securities who sponsored the challenge to a tune of 500,000 shillings, standard media group and Julius Owino also known as Juliani who was the youth ambassador.

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