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JSE launches the 51st Investment Challenge and fourth Virtual Trading Game in March 2024

Registrations for the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)’s investor education programmes are open with the competitions officially kicking off on 11 March 2024. The 2024 Investment Challenge heads into its 51st year with the continued goal of fostering financial literacy among South Africa’s high school learners and university students. Returning for the fourth time this year, the Virtual Trading Game will be giving South African citizens and aspiring investors real-life investing and trading skills. 

 In a period of declining financial literacy rates – currently 51% in South Africa according to the latest survey – these programmes are more imperative than ever by equipping participants with the tools to make informed financial decisions. While the JSE Investment Challenge has become a catalyst for financial literacy and economic empowerment among South African youth, the Virtual Trading Game targets other South African citizens to ensure everyone is given the opportunity to learn and grow.

 The games replicate a genuine trading atmosphere, offering participants a risk-free platform to trade JSE listed shares. Thus, targeting South Africans who want to gain practical insights into trading fundamentals and understanding JSE-listed instruments.

 “The JSE Investment Challenge and the Virtual Trading Game demonstrates our commitment to educate, empower and create opportunities for South Africans. We believe these vital initiatives make a real impact for participants, helping our pupils, students, citizens and residents make better financial decisions,” said Ralph Speirs, Senior CSI Officer at the JSE.

The tangible impact of the Investment Challenge is evident in the portfolio growth achieved by high school and university participants. As an example, in the schools’ 2023 competition, the top-performing team, ACCP-Techcabal from ACUDEO College Crystal Park in Gauteng achieved an impressive growth of 8.64% in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs), surpassing the returns of the traditional speculator competition and highlighting the potential of ETFs and ETNs in the investment landscape.


The university team, 201 Premiere Noir from the University of KwaZulu-Natal who participated in the speculator game in 2023, which included the use of Single Stock Futures (derivative products), achieved a remarkable return of 12.11%, emphasising the value of diversified investment strategies.


The overall winners of the Challenge were announced on 6 October 2023, and the full list can be found here: 2023 Investment Challenge winners.


Not only does the Investment Challenge increase students’ financial knowledge, but it also involves monthly prizes. For university students, the monthly winner prizes include R3000 in the form of exchange-traded fund vouchers. There are also three prizes valuing R120,000 in the form of exchange-traded funds as well as a trip to an international stock exchange. For high school learners, the monthly winners will win R500 each on the month they come first place, in addition to R500 for the school’s principal and R500 for the supervising teacher. Overall annual prizes valued at R330,000 will be awarded to high school students in the form of exchange-traded fund vouchers.


For South African citizens and residents, the Virtual Trading Game offers investor education for any aspiring investor. The game depicts a simulated trading environment in which players invest R1 million in a risk-free environment. The player that achieves the highest return at the end of the competition wins R60 000 in investment vouchers. This year, the aim is to attract 10,000 South Africans to participate.


Last year, the winner of the Speculator Portfolio was Avuzwa Mphithi from the Western Cape, with Ivone Stanley from Gauteng taking top honours in the ETF/ETN Portfolio. Both winners took home R60,000 each. Bradley Minords and Eugene Smith from Gauteng took second and third place respectively, and were awarded with R30,000 and R10,000 in investment vouchers.


“South Africa has massive, untapped potential. When we equip our citizens and residents with the tools to cultivate financial success, we can drive South Africa’s economy forward. As the JSE, we strongly believe that financial literacy should be a cornerstone of the education system,” continued Speirs.


Students who want to participate in this year’s Investment Challenge can register on and high school learners can register on For information and participation at their fingertips, participants can download the JSE Investment Challenge App, found on Android and iOS app stores.


For the non-students, aspiring investors can register here for the Virtual Trading Game.


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