A trio of teenage students from Montreal are ready to hand out $10,000 in prizes to the winners of the Young Investors Challenge, which runs from Monday January 4 to May, 2021. At least $8,000 of that will come in cold, hard cash.
Over 2,000 participants from Canada and the United States have already signed up for the investment simulation competition for teens aged 13 to 19.
The challenge was created by Charles Frédette (19), Philip Becker (18) and Ryan Dollinger (18), CEGEP students from Marianopolis College and the Collégial Sainte-Anne.
“In this day and age, financial literacy has become crucial for the youth,” said the trio. “Our organization focuses on promoting saving and investment practises amongst the younger generation. With the platform we have created for the Challenge, teens will be able to learn the art of finance in a fun and engaging way.”
Teens will have access to a virtual paper portfolio of $100,000 to invest in S&P 500® stocks and ETFs, including Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Berkshire Hathaway, and Tesla. Challenges focused on portfolio performance and strategy development will be judged by industry professionals and leaders from prominent organizations in investment banking, wealth management and financial services.
Building from scratch
Frédette told MTLinTECH that the trio built the simulation from scratch, using the Google Cloud Platform and Firebase.
“We partnered with IEX Cloud to power the platform and provide real time data from the Nasdaq to all our participants, and they have been very helpful. We are also developing a mobile app which will be released soon using React Native,” said Frédette.
Financial literacy, unfortunately, isn’t often a priority in the curriculums of public schools across Canada. Many students leave high school without a base knowledge of how building credit works, let alone investment basics.
“The goal was to develop and design an innovative yet simplistic platform for our participants since a lot of them are just beginning.”
‘One of the largest competitions in North America’
The challenge is backed and funded by the National Bank of Canada, DZD Hardwood, RisingYouth, the Government of Canada, IEX Cloud, and Collège Sainte-Anne.
Moreover, the trio achieved their 2,000 signups in less than one month, calling the challenge one of the largest competitions in North America.