13th March 2020 — Oliver Neilson, who has just turned 15, has successfully qualified for the semi-finals of the Student Investor Challenge. As a single applicant, he finished in 56th place against 6000 other four-player teams, the majority of which consisted of students from Year 12. As a result, he has also won the BMS PPE Society Share Dealing Challenge.
The Student Investor Challenge is run by The London Institute of Banking and Finance and is open to teams of students aged 14-19 from anywhere in the world. The first round of this year’s competition ran from 14 October 2019 to 24 January 2020. Each team was given £100,000 of virtual money to invest in two portfolios, an Active Investor portfolio, which can be traded every day, and a Strategic Investor portfolio, which only allows a limited number of trades per month, and therefore encourages long-term thinking.
Oliver explained: “I started the challenge by reading articles in the Financial Times and by following the BBC news. I realised that I would have to be careful to invest in companies that wouldn’t be negatively affected by a possible No-deal Brexit. The companies I invested in included: BT, Just Eat, BP and Experian. I’ve really enjoyed this experience and I hope to pursue this line of work in the future.”
Head of Business at BMS, Richard Smith, commented: “This is an amazing achievement for Oliver especially in the context of his age relative to the majority of those taking part. He has demonstrated a great level of maturity when developing his investment strategy.”
Oliver is currently competing in the semi-finals against the top 500 teams from the competition. The eight best-performing teams will be announced as finalists later this month.