Caymanian students conquer stock market

Investing in Netflix and Apple helped two Caymanian students turn a $200,000 profit in the stock market. 

The only regret for Valadin Bailey and Michael Ebanks is they weren’t playing for real. 

The pair turned a 200 per cent profit to win the Saxon Investment Competition, which challenges young people to invest pretend money over a six-month period. 

The duo turned their initial $100,000 investment into $311,000. The pair, both students at the International College of the Cayman Islands, did make some real cash from their endeavours, taking $2,500 for first prize. 

Mr. Bailey said they had been entering the competition for several years, since they were students together at John Gray High School. This was the last year either of the young men, who have now turned 20, were eligible for the competition. 

Mr. Bailey said he had expected it to be tough to make money in a challenging economic environment. But the pair targeted technology and pharmaceutical stocks to make mega bucks. 

“We were very aggressive at the beginning and did 60 to 90 trades straight away. We targeted innovative technology companies that we thought would grow.” 

Netflix was one of the biggest earners for the team, named Modern Age Investments Club, 
“We bought it at $70-a-share. Last time I checked it was about $170,” Mr. Bailey added. 

The company, which streams movies and television shows online, has been one of the highest performing stocks in the US on the back of rising subscriptions. 

“We knew that it was opening up in a few more markets and we had a very good hunch that the stock price would increase.” 

Another big-earner was the online games provider Zynga. 

As a full-time student, Mr. Ebanks admits he doesn’t have much spare cash to back his hunches in the stock-market for real. 

“Hopefully in the future, I will. I am very happy with myself. I feel we did well and have learnt a lot over the course of the competition. There are still some areas I want to improve on before I invest any real money. 

“We have entered the competition for several years and have made a profit each time, but this is the first time we have done this well.” 

The annual competition, organised by Saxon group, started in October with groups of students, ages 14 to 19, competing to make the most gains over the six-month competition period. The winners received their award in a ceremony at George Town library last month. 

Saxon CEO Brian Williams said he was “blown away” by the ingenuity of the young contestants. 

“These students have gained invaluable knowledge of stock market investing and money management, which we are confident will prove to be useful tools in their future,” Mr. Williams said. “Someone in this group is going to be a future pioneer of our financial industry.”  

Saxon Group is comprised of Saxon Pension Services, client services agent for Silver Thatch Pensions, and auto insurance provider Saxon MG. 

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Valadin Bailey and Michael Ebanks receive their prize money. – PHOTO: SUBMITTED
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