Student investors chasing $2,500 prize

If you pay attention, Brian Williams told a group of high school students last Thursday, the stock market can be part of your everyday life.

Mr. Williams, CEO of Saxon Smart Insurance, was at St. Ignatius Catholic School to help kick off this year’s Saxon Investment Club competition. In its ninth year, the program offers a $2,500 prize for the team of students which puts together the most successful fictional stock portfolio.

Students from several high schools listened as Mr. Williams told them how one of his recent investments came from dealing with his son’s diabetes. In researching ways to monitor blood glucose levels, he said he discovered a company which has developed a sensor implant that can provide continuous monitoring for 90 days. The current product his son uses has to be changed weekly, he said.

Mr. Williams said he not only liked the idea of a better system for keeping his son healthy, but he thought it would be a good investment.

“It was trading at $1.70 a share,” he said of the company’s stock, when he invested several months ago. “Now it’s trading at $3.30 a share.”

He encouraged the students to research such opportunities, as they built their portfolios with an imaginary $100,000.

The competition begins Monday and runs through March 31, 2018.

St. Ignatius teacher Dominique Chenier has been involved with the competition from its inception. From the turnout at Thursday’s meeting, she said, it looked like participation would increase from the 75 students who were in the club last year.

“It’s been growing and growing,” she said.

Some schools, such as Hope Academy and Layman E. Scott Sr. High School on Cayman Brac, are participating for the first time.

Chief Officer in the Ministry of Education Christen Suckoo and Colin Wilson of OneTRADEx, which produces the trading platform the students will use, were also at the kickoff meeting.

Mr. Suckoo told the students his bachelor’s degree in finance came with a concentration on investing, which he said prepared him for anything.

“What you’re doing is you’re exploring the world in a new and exciting way,” he said. “At its core, [investing] is about learning to analyze. Once you have mastered that you have mastered life.”

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