Teaching financial literacy and commercial awareness from a young age is essential to equip our children with the knowledge and skills they will need to invest effectively and to develop a successful career. A boarding school in the UK is providing such real-life learning experiences with an initiative that sees students make live trades on the London Stock Exchange.
Embley’s Asset Management and Stock Market Investment Club introduces students to a variety of complex problem-solving experiences that enable them to develop essential life skills including critical thinking and data analysis alongside core social skills such as communications and teamwork – all of which can all be applied beyond the curriculum and will be valued by universities and future employers.
Students have access to live London Stock Exchange data. Between December 2019 and May 2020, the Club outperformed the FTSE 100 index by 5.08% with theoretical investments. In January 2021, with the support of Charles Stanley, the Club made its first live trade of £1,000 on the London Stock Market. Club members have sole responsible for generating investment funds, which are achieved through fundraising events.
In accordance with the wish of Club members, profits from investments will form the Embley Endowment Fund and fund bursaries for children to attend Embley (specifically families who would otherwise be unable to afford independent education).
Through investment appraisals and activities, students are learning how to manage their finances and plan for their futures. They are developing their understanding of the macroeconomic environment and its impact on investments, completing risk, industry sector and ethical investment analyses. They use the news and current affairs to help them understand how political events and economic trends can affect currency and investments. For example, how currency can impact their returns.
Alongside this, students are encouraged to consider their personal values and how they use these to develop an investment philosophy that they feel comfortable implementing. A key life skill is also to understand that life decisions carry risks and consequences so, when it comes, they are helped to understand and deal with failure, such as financial loss, and to celebrate success collaboratively.
The Club plans to create an opportunity for those considering a career in finance to complete the ‘Investment Management Certificate’ (the investment industry’s base/entry exam) before leaving school. This exam is normally taken by graduates at their first firm of employment.
The Stock Market Investment Club is one of a number initiatives that contribute to Embley’s overriding aim of providing students with life skills as well as educational attainment. The school also runs a Sixth Form MBA Experience to help students develop their understanding of sustainable business and responsible leadership and includes guest lecturers from IBM, BDO and Kingfisher and modules covering sustainability and social justice, leadership and organisational success, business strategy, marketing and financial management.
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