Competition tests students’ financial prowess

Financial literacy can be rewarding in a variety of ways. For high schools in 11 states, it could also mean a $5,000 award.

That's the top prize for a school in Knowledge@Wharton High School Investment Challenge, a nationwide competition conducted jointly by Aberdeen Asset Management and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania to promote finance education.

Part of the 22-week competition that began in November involves teams of five to nine students investing $100,000 in virtual cash through Wharton's Online Trading and Investment Simulator, which allows students to buy and sell stocks, options and futures contracts. Teams are judged on a midterm report from the teams and a final investment policy, explaining their investments and the strategies behind them, said Diana Drake, managing editor for the Knowledge@Wharton High School print and online education program.

“It's more about the logic of the processes, not just the returns,” said Julien Franklin, Aberdeen spokesman. Aberdeen portfolio managers and other staff members visit each school and conduct class discussions on investing.

The competition will conclude in late April or May, Ms. Drake said. More information is on the Knowl3edge@Wharton website at

This article originally appeared in the February 18, 2013 print issue as, "Competition tests students' financial prowess".