Three Andover Students Place in Interscholarlastic Investment Competition

Three Andover students snagged top positions in the second annual Andover-Exeter Investment Invitational this Fall.

The mock investment competition, which began on September 26 took place on’s Virtual Stock Exchange. 256 students from Phillips Academy, Phillips Exeter Academy, Choate Rosemary Hall, St. Paul’s School, the Hotchkiss School and the Peddie School participated in the competition.

Each competitor began with $100,000 and used the virtual currency to build a portfolio of stocks. The goal of the competition was to maximize investment return, or the amount of money earned off investments.

Mark Meyer ’13 finished the competition with $580,000, or a 480 percent return, placing first and winning $35. Jason Canavan ’14 and Alex Kwon ’14 placed sixth and eighth, respectively. Canavan and Kwon received $14 and $10, respectively.

According to Jack Sykes ’12, Co-Head of Andover Economics Society (AES), the shifts in stock values in the competition reflected the stocks’ actual performance in the market, although the investments were simulated.

The competition was influenced by real changes in the global market. Current events such as the European debt crisis, for example, posed challenges to the investments.

Sykes said, “Despite the downward pressure of the European debt crisis on markets over the competition’s time frame, many individuals were able to generate significantly positive returns.”

Meyer, who had had prior experience with trading stocks, noted that the limited 47-day duration of the competition affected his investment strategy.

“The limited time interval forced me and other players to make high risk trades that I would never make in real life,” Meyer said.

Kwon was new member of AES, with no previous experience in managing investments. He entered the competition on a whim, with knowledge about stocks only from his parents and a few books.

Kwon said, “I started the competition simply for fun, but I never knew I would actually become one of the top-scoring participants.”

Despite placing so high in the competition, Kwon said that the experience was challenging at first.

The interscholastic competition was launched last year as a joint effort by Chris Kent ’11, former Head of AES, and an Exeter student, the then-leader of the Exeter Investment Association.

Though originally intended to be an annual competition sponsored by both Andover and Exeter, only Exeter hosted the event this year. AES hopes to co-sponsor the competition with Exeter again next year.