Bursa Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Muhammad Umar Swift (back row, fifth from left) with the panel of judges and the top three winners of the Inter-Varsity Stock Challenge 2019 in Bursa Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.

“HARD work is very important. The effort you put in and the amount of time you spend contribute greatly to the end result,” said Lee Chi-Wing, 20, from Team Goreng, who clinched the grand prize at the Inter-Varsity Stock Challenge (IVSC) 2019.

With a common goal of becoming champions, Lee and his team members — Sam Jun Kit, Tan Guan Yi and Yong Yoon Voon — from Taylor’s University decided on their group name unanimously.

“In Chinese, we call trading stocks chaogu, which can be directly translated into “frying stocks”. We believe that the name Goreng fits very well with our strategy in this competition,” said Lee.

To provide university students with first-hand experience in capital market investment and trade, the inaugural interactive stock trading competition was held from May to July.

Supported by Bursa Malaysia Bhd (Bursa Malaysia), IVSC 2019 was organised by N2N Connect Bhd (N2N) with key stockbroking partners Affin Hwang Capital, Macquarie Capital Securities, Public Investment Bank and AmInvestment Bank, which mentored the students throughout the three-month competition.

(From left) Yong Yoon Voon, Tan Guan Yi, Sam Jun Kit and Lee Chi-Wing of Team Goreng presenting their findings at the Inter-Varsity Stock Challenge 2019 closing ceremony.

Walking away with a handsome sum of RM30,000, Team Goreng attributed their win to teamwork and ability to control emotions in face of adversity.

Yong said while the team members did not see eye to eye on everything, they were quick to resolve differences.

“Each of us has a different perspective of the stock market. Some of us are conservative traders while others are more aggressive,” she said.

“We carried out discussions often. Each night, we would Skype each other to prepare for the next day, and we would come up with a watch list. We knew we had to work hard.”

Tan added: “When one of us had class, the others would take over and maintain our performance. We traded stocks even when we had exams. We learnt to manage our time well.”

The main challenge they faced was to recover from a volatile market.

“Sometimes, our expectations were wrong. When the market didn’t go our way, we would immediately cut loss of all our holdings, and then carry out a more aggressive approach to recover,” said Lee.

Yong added: “Initially, we were afraid of taking risks. We were reluctant to cut our losses when the stocks broke below support, or to reap profits when we hit our profit target. But in time, we learned to control our emotions.”

Sharing some tips, Sam said: “Many young investors nowadays are only trying to become rich in a short time. My advice is to learn before you enter the market. Consult a remisier to know more.”

Their mentor, AmInvestment Bank Berhad Retail Research head Joseph Chai said he was impressed by his team’s effort.

“The team has demonstrated the importance of teamwork. Initially, whenever they lose money, they were scared. But they kept on encouraging each other and were able to maintain a good momentum until the end.

“When it comes to the actual market, you need to leverage all the resources you have. The students have conquered their fears together, which makes them the champion,” said Chai.

The first runner-up, Team Ikan Bakar, won RM20,000. All its members did not have any prior trading experience or a finance background.

Taylor’s University engineering students Jack Heng Shao Jun, Tay Sui Xiong, Thugilann Raman and Zoie Tok said they learned the fundamentals of investing during the competition.

“When we first started the challenge, we did not know what was going on and the graphs did not make sense. So, we learned a lot by trial-and-error,” said Thugilann.

Heng said: “After making improvements and seeing ourselves making an exponential growth, we decided to aim for the fortnight price and we did win. We didn’t expect to go beyond that.”

Highlighting the importance of hard work, Tay said: “For those who do not have a finance background like us, just go for it and believe in yourself. Nothing is impossible.”

“When it comes to the actual market, you need to leverage all the resources you have”. Joseph Chai AmInvestment Bank Berhad Retail Research head

Second runner-up, Yew Zhu Xiang, a banking and finance student from Multimedia University, was a solo contender. His solo participation made him all the more focused.

“I think that it would be harder in a group. For instance, if you’re interested to short-sell stocks, but your team members disagree. While you spend time arguing, you’d lose the opportunity.

“That’s why I chose to have full authority to progress in this challenge.”

Thanking his mentor, Yew said: “When I first started, I didn’t know about the Hang Seng Index (the Hong Kong stock market) and made a huge loss. I reached out to my mentor, Ching Weng Jin from Public Investment Bank, and he shared some really helpful insights.

“Learning something on my own took a lot of effort. Having a mentor to guide me made everything much easier.”

For finalist Tan Ke Li, she was inspired to start investing after her parents utilised their investments to fund her scoliosis surgery.The chiropractic student said: “Without my parents’ investment, I wouldn’t be able to be here today.

“Unlike others who are mostly from economics or business background, I’m in the medical field. I learned a lot from observing my parents.

“For this challenge, I used a top-down analysis to have an eagle-eye view on the market. As my degree course is mostly hands-on, I usually trade in the morning before going to class. I received a lot of moral support from my parents,” said Tan.

Attracting 3,000 students in 787 teams from Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Multimedia University (MMU) and Taylor’s University, IVSC was conducted via a live-simulated platform developed by N2N.

With a virtual start-up capital of RM100,000, each team was put to a challenge to achieve the highest returns and demonstrate a sound understanding of trading strategies.

After battling it out for three months, nine groups emerged as the finalists and were required to present their investment findings before the judges.

The panel of jury featured capital market leaders, namely Bursa Malaysia chief commercial officer Selvarany Rasiah, Affin Hwang Capital group managing director Datuk Maimoonah Mohamed Hussain, Public Investment Bank chief executive officer Lee Yo-Hunn, AmInvestment Bank executive vice-president and equity markets head Gan Kim Khoon and N2N managing director Andrew Tiang.

The presentation was conducted at the closing ceremony, which was held at the Listing Gallery of Bursa Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 5.

Officiating at the ceremony was Bursa Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Muhammad Umar Swift.

“Bursa Malaysia is proud to support this industry-led initiative to raise awareness on stock market investing and promote financial literacy among the next generation of investors.

“This would help educate them to make the right financial decisions during the most productive years of their lives.

“We are encouraged by the positive response from students, which shows that IVSC is creating the right type of conversation in generating interest among young people,” said Swift.