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Jordan Prince Williams High School emerges victorious

Last year, Jordan Prince Williams High School recorded a third-place finish in CFAL’s Junior Investor Program competition; this year, that simply wouldn’t cut it. The school’s 11-member team snagged top honors in a year fraught with challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 health pandemic which forced the world to grind to a halt as “observe social distancing” and “stay safe at home” became mantras globally.

The win by the team of Carlisa Smith, Saree Baker, Malek Lockhart, Rhianna Ingraham, Ricardo Johnson, Ladanian Donald, O’Shanique Dean, Shametria Munroe, Tareka Williams, Finesse Williams and Destiny Evans was the school’s second in the history of the competition, having last captured the title in 2009.

Anatol Rodgers High School’s team of Diamond Bowe, Ravyn Collie, Davincia Cox, Matejah Cunningham, Anique Edwards and Daranique Gaitor finished second.

The defending champions, St. Augustine’s College (SAC) which also holds the title of most winningest school in the competition’s history, finished in third position. Kyundra Meadows, Sh’Ton Pickering, D’asia Bain and Carliya Miller comprised this year’s SAC squad.

CFAL’s Junior Investor Program competition allows students to manage their own portfolio, make decisions as a group and invest in the market. The hands-on approach allows them to further understand how important money management is to their future, as well as how the stock market operates. The ability to invest and save is also a principle that is taught throughout the program as the decisions the students make have a direct effect on how much money their portfolio earns over the year.

“CFAL has always been conscious of the fact that high school students need the opportunity to see and understand the financial market and industry in a manner they could apply once they graduate. The topics ensure that they have a wide array of information and tools they can use to manage money effectively,” said Richard Pinder, chairman of the competition committee.

Each school is given a hypothetical $100,000 investment portfolio to manage; they have six months to invest in the market via trading on the exchange. The winner of the program is determined by the school that has the highest return for their portfolio while maintaining a balanced investment strategy.

Jordan Prince Williams’ team ended the program on its initial investment with $109,619.62 for the win and a first place $2,500 prize.

Anatol Rodgers High School returned $107,360.04 to take home a $1,500 award for its second-place finish.

SAC’s team made $114,339.16 to take home $1,000.

In the program’s concept since inception, advisors meet with students at their respective schools. But in light of The Bahamas confirming its first COVID-19 case on March 15, schools in The Bahamas ceased in-classroom, face-to-face learning on March 16. Education was taken to the online platform.

In the fight to contain the spread of the coronavirus, non-essential businesses were shuttered nationwide.

The Bahamas up to yesterday, June 28, had 104 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths, 88 recovered cases, zero hospitalized cases, five active cases and completed 2,393 tests.

Worldwide there were 10,039,286 confirmed cases with 499,664 deaths.

Through it all, CFAL was determined to ensure that students were still able to participate in the competition which includes lessons and tips in financial planning, budgeting, savings, investing and financial risk.

Given the limitations of the pandemic, the program was adjusted so that students and their teachers were able to contact advisors via the telephone and via WhatsApp groups, email and additional learning. Online questions and research were submitted via social media like Facebook.

“CFAL is proud of the effort and commitment made by the various schools and students in the program during the year,” said Pinder. “Programs such as these are there to help them in their future endeavors and to ensure they have a head start in relation to money management.”

In the program’s history, Jordan Prince Williams has cracked the top three four times – a third place finish in the inaugural 2008 year, followed by a title win in 2009 and a third place showing in 2019, which it followed with a title grab this year.

This year’s win ties Jordan Prince Williams with St. Paul’s Methodist College as the second most winningest team in the competition’s history, with two wins each. St. Paul’s won in 2014 and 2016.

C.V. Bethel is the lone government school to have won the title, having captured the inaugural competition in 2008.

The only other school to have won a title has been St. George’s, which it won in 2013.

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