The Charlottesville High School Student Investment Group placed 4th on April 30 in an international competition sponsored by the Wharton Business School and Aberdeen Asset Management. In the finals, held in Philadelphia at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, CHS competed against 14 other teams from areas as far away as California and China. Although more than 500 teams from around the world entered the competition, CHS was the only Virginia team to reach the finals.
The CHS Investment Team was started in September by 10th-grader Lucas Higgins. Other team members are Caroline Clark, Thomas Inigo, Maggie Randle, and William Werner. In its brief existence, the group also placed 3rd in the statewide 2016 Enactus at UVA High School Case Competition organized by the McIntire School of Commerce. In addition, the group has raised $17,000 to establish a student-run endowment to support local anti-hunger initiatives. “I’m technically the sponsor of the club,” says Chinese teacher Daniel Stolkowski. “But I have to say, it’s completely student run. I’m so impressed with the initiative and excellence that these students demonstrated.”
Teams were tasked with developing an investment strategy and making “trades” using Wharton-developed software with $100,000 of faux seed money. With every round of competition, the number of eligible teams dwindled, and the work demanded of the remaining teams increased. The CHS team developed a 15-page paper describing their investment philosophy and process. The 15 teams who qualified for the world finals represented less than the top 3 percent of all the initial competitors. On April 30, these finalists made live presentations to a team of judges from the international investment management group Aberdeen Asset Management. One of the four judges ranked CHS as the winner of the competition.
The KWHS-Aberdeen Investment Competition was established at Wharton in 2012 to foster financial literacy in a fun atmosphere. KWHS stands for Knowledge at Warton – High School, an initiative from the top-ranked Wharton School to offer educational resources for high schoolers and their teachers.