When Robin Ahimbisibwe a 3rd year student at Makarere University heard about the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) University Challenge, he went online and signed up. This was an opportunity for him to learn how to trade in shares.
“For a long time I had wanted to learn how to trade, but the requirements for me to trade were too complicated, says Ahimbisibwe “When I heard about the University Challenge I wanted to learn, so I just went online and signed up.
“The first month was challenging,” he says. I had too much money and a lot of choices to trade, I did not know which one would work.” Each participating student got UGX 35,000,000 virtual startup capital to trade with using real-time data of shares and bonds prices streamed from the USE.
“I read a lot, and asked a lot of questions on the discussion forums,” Ahimbisibwe says of what informed his trading decisions.
The USE University Challenge is an annual virtual trading competition targeting students in institutions of higher learning.
The Challenge, according to Paul Bwiso the USE CEO is aimed at raising awareness among the younger generation on investing in the stock market and helping them create a culture of saving and investing early on though the exchange.
Ahimbisibwe is among the 214 students who participated in the Challenge last year. He wins 10 million shillings’ worth of shares for emerging the winner.
Martha Rukundo, a student from Kyambogo University emerged third. “I now know how to trade when I get actual money,” says Rukundo. She gets 2.5millon shillings to invest in the Exchange.
The two, together with Nashir Jombe from Makerere University were considered by a panel of judges to have made the soundest investment decisions “We also judged them on the reasons they gave for trading as well as their portfolio balance and valuation,” notes Andrew Mwima, one of the judges.
“We noted that most of the students concentrated their investments in one instrument and never practiced diversification,” notes Mwima,” We hope that in the next Challenge they will diversify their investments.”
Bwiso notes that the University Challenge will be annual in a bid to continue enhancing financial management and investment among the youth.