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Canterbury students win CMC Markets University Trading Challenge

10 November 2022

Three stellar young traders came out on top at the University of Canterbury Trading Challenge, hosted by CMC Markets in association with the UC Investment Society.


This year over 100 students competed in the contest, and those who earned the highest return on investment (ROI) over the four weeks were awarded cash prizes. The champions were Nicholas Hau in first place, Ann Ng in second place, and Liang Ma in third place.

The annual competition gives students the opportunity to put various investment strategies they have learnt to the test. They try their hands at a range of financial derivative instruments such as cryptocurrencies, gold and silver commodities, forex and shares using virtual funds on the CMC Markets online trading platform.

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First year Bachelor of Law student, Nicholas Hau, took the top spot with an impressive 186% ROI. This was his first year competing and had signed up with a passion for business and trading.

“The experience reminded me how important it is to stay calm when in the middle of a trade. I used the inverse market strategy - going short on oil and natural gas which had peaked due to the Russia/Ukraine conflict during the current bear market. I also went short Nasdaq as tech was getting hit harder with higher valuations post-Covid.”

Ann Ng, a second year Commerce student, came in second with a 101% ROI. She decided to throw her hat in the ring after she saw the competition advertised online.

“I mainly traded on US stocks and my strategy was using the Moving Average Convergence/Divergence strategy (MACD). Through this competition, I learned that using MACD wasn’t enough to maximize the profits so I’ll need to learn how to use other indicators,” she said.

Third place winner and Masters of Applied Finance and Economics student, Liang Ma, achieved a 91% ROI. This was his second year competing in the UC Trading Challenge.

“I’ve been trading for over six years, so this competition was a reflection of my day-to-day trading life. However, knowing that previous winners all had over 200% returns in a month's time, meant I had to adjust my normal leverages to a higher level and be cautious about my risk management, so that my entry points and profit takings were as precise as possible.”

Head of Trading at the UC Investment Society, Hamish Proctor said, “The competition is always a great way to introduce students to the world of trading and finance. It involves students with a range of trading experience, studying all types of degrees, who are competing at the mercy of the markets for prizes thanks to CMC.”  

CMC Markets General Manager NZ, Chris Smith, said the current turbulence in the markets due to global events made it a tricky competition this year.

“I was impressed with the students’ ability to navigate the volatility and adapt their strategies based on what was happening in the markets. They proved to be a clever group of traders.”

“It’s exciting to draw in first time traders as well as those with experience under their belts, showing just how popular investing is becoming amongst the younger generations. It’s gratifying to see these students develop their skills and we’re proud to be empowering them through these events."

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