The Knowledge@Wharton High School (KWHS) Investment Competition is a free, global, online investment simulation for high school students (9th to 12th grade) and teachers. Students learn about teamwork, communication, risk, diversification, company analysis, industry analysis and investing.
Teams consist of four to seven students, and classes can have several competing teams; student-led investment clubs and home-schooled teams are also encouraged to participate. Each team manages a portfolio of $100,000 in virtual cash over the course of 10 weeks using Wharton’s Online Trading and Investment Simulator (OTIS).
Over the course of the competition, your team will develop and test an investment strategy using the sectors, industries and companies from the competition’s approved stock list. Your team will conduct a thorough analysis of potential investments, which will provide support for your portfolio analysis proposal that sets up your potential client for long-term investment success. You will be able to test your investment strategy by using the OTIS online trading platform (you will be given access in the days leading up to the start of trading). It’s important to note that long-term strategies do not call for heavy buying and selling and active trading. In addition to developing a long-term strategy for your client, you will need to allocate a small portion of your portfolio to short-term gains to satisfy your potential client’s needs. This may require more active trading. Previous knowledge of trading and investing is not required to compete in the KWHS Investment Competition. However, we recommend that students spend time and energy using our resources to learn, ideally with an advisor in the lead to help teach and motivate.
KWHS has a mission to create free resources that help high school students and educators gain a deeper understanding of business and finance. Success in our eyes is when students have fun, as well as learn the meaning and application of investment concepts. We want students to emerge from this process with more knowledge about the world of investing.
While KWHS provides somewhat of a structure to the competition, advisors are encouraged to use the available guidebook and resources as they wish. Feel free to build the competition out in your classrooms or within your investment clubs any way it meets your needs and objectives. We hope that you will be creative and build on the resources that KWHS provides. You have access to detailed lesson plans, articles, videos and learning outcomes to support your competition journey.
What Sets the KWHS Investment Competition Apart?
The focus of this competition is education. Winners are selected on the strength and articulation of their team investment strategies and overall competition experience, not on the growth of their portfolios, which is a key differentiator between this investment challenge and others. The KWHS Investment Competition is also a global experience, so far engaging high school students in more than 30 countries around the world.
Deliverables and Judging
Student competitors are required to submit a brief mid-project team review and a more comprehensive final written investment strategy and competition experience overview.
KWHS judges review the final documents and select a group of 10-12 top teams. Top teams are invited to present their strategies during a regional finale to a panel of expert judges, who then select the top analyst teams. The winners of each regional round are then invited to compete in a global finale at Wharton in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.