OMAHA, Neb .– (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Three students from Queens College at the University of the City of New York achieved an impressive total gain of 427% of their portfolio in four weeks, surpassing nearly 930 other teams to take home the fourth annual award Thinkorswim challenge by TD Ameritrade, Inc. This year’s virtual trading competition drew a record number of participants: 2,507 student teams from 327 colleges and universities in 49 states.
“The thinkorswim Challenge is an incredible opportunity for a young generation to learn to invest through hands-on applications,” said Lee McAdoo, Managing Director of Education at TD Ameritrade. “The competition is not limited to learning how to navigate the markets, it gives students the opportunity to trade different products in a virtual environment and teaches them to take into account risk management, portfolio allocation and diversification between sectors and industries. ”
The first prize goes to the Queens College team
The three-student team from Queens College, which placed the most trades in the competition – 942, took first place with a portfolio gain of 427 percent and a final portfolio value of 2,636,000 $. The Queens College undergraduate team included: senior Max Fruchter, a double major in economics and finance; Shlomo Sandler junior, majoring in accounting; and junior Daniel Baruch, a major in applied physics. There were three teams from Queens College competing in this year’s challenge.
“What made the thinkorswim Challenge interesting was being able to track our performance against other participating teams,” said Daniel Baruch. “It was fun when we were outperforming other schools locally and across the country.”
As with last year’s Challenge, participants in the 2017 Challenge showed a preference for options. All of the virtual trades placed by the winning team were options trades, resulting in “profits” of over $ 200,000 for the underlying symbols including Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) and Expedia Inc. (EXPE). A similar return was seen for options trades on Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN), which accounted for five percent of the team’s overall trades. The Queens College team was bullish on the market as a whole and its trading strategy, with 52% of trades being bullish.
“When we decided on our trading strategy, we realized that we had to have a higher than normal risk appetite as the competition only lasted four weeks. The trading options allowed us to push our limits. risk, while properly managing the overall risk of our portfolio, “said Max Fruchter.” Before the competition, I had never traded options, only stocks with longer investment horizons. The competition m opened my eyes to new products and have since explored trading options on my own.
Each member of the winning Challenge team – CUNY Queens College – received $ 3,000 to deposit into individual TD Ameritrade brokerage accounts. As a school affiliated with the Global Winning Team, Queens College received $ 30,000 from TD Ameritrade for its role in educating students about the importance of investing.
Staggering virtual business profits of $ 1,300,000 separated the overall winner of the competition from the second-place team, which was from Columbia Law School. With a gain of 289% and a paper wallet valued at $ 1,947,000, the team grossed $ 20,000 for their school and each team member earned $ 2,000 deposited into individual TD Ameritrade brokerage accounts. Third place went to a team of undergraduate students from King’s College, who achieved a gain of 224% and a virtual wallet value of $ 1,622,000. The team won $ 10,000 for their school, and each team member won $ 1,000 for placing third in the overall contest, deposited into individual TD Ameritrade brokerage accounts.
Thinkorswim challenge trading trends
Students placed a total of 38,600 paper operations in the 2017 competition – 1,900 per day – which is five percent more than the previous year. Again, options made up a majority of the student’s trades at 77 percent followed by stocks, accounting for 21 percent of trades during the competition.
For the second year, students did more trades in the technology sector than in any other sector. Tesla (TSLA) was the most frequently traded stock, followed by Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN), while Netflix (NFLX) and Nvidia (NVDA) rounded out the top five.
Challenge participants showed increased interest in mobile trading this year, with 41% of transactions completed via a mobile device during the 2017 Challenge, up from 36% the year before.
Bringing Financial Literacy to the Next Generation
In a 2017 TD Ameritrade survey1, nearly a fifth of respondents admitted they didn’t know anything about the stock market or investing, which could be the result of limited financial education in high school and college. The same survey found that only nine percent took a high school finance course and seven percent took a college finance course.
The TD Ameritrade thinkorswim challenge is offered annually by TD Ameritrade U, an educational program for faculty and college-run organizations that offers free access to virtual trading through paperMoney® on the thinkorswim trading platform. TD Ameritrade developed the program in 2014 to help students prepare for the real world of personal finance by giving them the opportunity to put classroom theory into real life investing practice. The company believes that access to advanced investment resources and training is the first step in helping young people develop investing habits that can last a lifetime.
“From the recent TD Ameritrade survey, we learned that over half of people wish they had learned to invest earlier in life,” said McAdoo. “The thinkorswim Challenge gives the next generation the opportunity to learn more about the markets and how to invest, so that they are not disadvantaged like many are today. We can help young people avoid having regrets all their lives by providing them with a program that will give them a real-time, real-world trading experience.
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Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. Option trading privileges subject to review and approval by TD Ameritrade. Please read Characteristics and risks of standardized options before investing in options.
Supporting documents for any complaints, comparisons, statistics or other technical data will be provided on request.
Paper money® the app is for educational purposes only. Success of virtual trading for a period of time does not guarantee successful investment of real funds in a subsequent period, as market conditions are continually changing.
The inclusion of actual symbols is for reference only and does not constitute a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any specific security.
The thinkorswim Challenge is subject to the full official rules, available at www.thinkorswimchallenge.com. For more information on TD Ameritrade U or the thinkorswim Challenge, visit www.tdameritradeu.com
Source: TD Ameritrade Holding Company
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1. An online survey was conducted of 1,001 Americans aged 18 and over with over $ 10,000 in assets to invest by True North Market Insights, September 2017, on behalf of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation. TD Ameritrade and True North are separate, unaffiliated companies and are not responsible for the services or policies of the other.