• Three days to deadline



    For those who are reading this column for the first time, allow me to walk you through its proposition and goal, again: As published on Friday, February 16, this column will host a continuing virtual stock trading game in connection with the invigorated corporate commitment of The Manila Times to promote, among other things, a higher level of understanding and appreciation of the capital market by the general public – most especially investment in stocks – at the same time create greater awareness of the impact it makes on the economy’s growth and the country’s development.

    The trading plays of the participants will be captured and reviewed in the column on its publication on Tuesdays and Fridays. Together with the effort of providing timely information affecting the financial and business sector, the column will also become a practical market investment advisory for the general investing public.

    Come to think of it, based on a survey about financial literacy conducted recently among people in the Asian region, the Philippines ranked badly; its population received the lowest grade on financial literacy. This may explain why about four out of 10 adults in the Philippines still have no financial safety nets at retirement age, the survey further observed.

    Three years ago, another survey found that “only 25 [percent]of Filipino adults were financially literate.” A large portion of the population does not have the necessary financial knowledge and skill such as the “ability to understand how money works, how to manage and invest money, and also how to spend it.”

    The survey said that similar to the experience of people in other countries with low financial literacy, the population oftentimes falls into high debt, mortgage default—or worse—into insolvency.

    Rules and mechanics of the game
    The first round of the trading challenge will start on March 1. It is programmed to run for six months.

    The deadline for submission of applications is on or before 5:00 p.m. of February 23, and entries must be sent via email to den.somera@manilatimes.net, copy furnished densomera@msn.com. The final lineup will be announced on February 27.

    The application must contain a short write-up about your personal, academic and professional background. It should also include a little description or explanation of the trading style, technique or principle you plan to use (if you have any) to succeed in the contest—a requirement I forgot to mention last time.

    To qualify, you must be a natural person, nothing less (not a robot). Next, your age and gender preference are not issues of concern to us.

    Looks also do not matter. You may be goodlooking, pretty or “prettier”—you are welcome to join the contest just the same.

    Lastly, regardless of your profession or political color, you will all have equal chances of qualifying for the game and winning it.

    As I have mentioned before, the contest is not open solely to the “amateur OFW, the newbie, or one of those wishing to make the first trade, but somehow can’t muster the necessary confidence to do so;” it is also open to the so-called “insiders” such as a licensed stock broker and trader, fulltime market analyst and investment advisor, or seasoned investor.

    You have to use he correct trading forms for your trading orders at all times. Forms for that purpose have been prepared. Failure to comply will invalidate the orders.

    You are not required to trade daily but when you do, you must always give a short comment to explain or justify your trading move. This is part of your contribution to help accomplish the newspaper’s goal to provide a practical educational platform for the general public on stock trading and investing.

    You will not use your real identify in the game. It will be kept confidential. Instead, you will be identified by a pseudonym or a nom de guerre of your choice.

    In this regard, you will also not know the real identities of your opponents, and this column reserves the right to make the final lineup of players for the game. This is to make sure the objectives of the exercise are fulfilled.

    Only 10 entrants will be made to play in each trading cycle and each player will begin with a virtual fund of P500,000.

    Applicable trading costs will be the same as what ordinary investors would actually pay—adjusted in conformity to the provisions of the Train Law—when buying or selling stocks through any of the online stockbroking portals provided by members of the Philippine Stock Exchange.

    For facility, some mathematical key factors will be given to assist you to quickly determine your buying and/or selling transaction costs. Their application will, likewise, help you conveniently figure out the profitability of your trades.

    All trading orders must be sent via email to den.somera@manilatimes.net, copy furnished densomera@msn.com and submitted not later than 12:00 midnight before the trading day of execution.

    Trading orders that are received within the prescribed regulation time will be accepted and confirmed valid via a subsequent return email.

    The rest of the instructions for the trading contest will be given to the lucky applicants chosen to play.

    Bottom line (Prizes)
    The virtual stock trading contest is a continuing game, as has been stated before. You can always reapply during the following cycles if you don’t make it to the list of contestants for the first round.

    A notebook computer awaits the top scorer in the game, while two smart cell phones will be awarded to the next two winners with the best scores. The rest will be given a certificate of participation.

    Over and above these material considerations, however, the contest is all about learning from those who are utterly determined in “making big money in the stock market.”

    Watch out for the final lineup and see if you are one of the lucky picks!

    Den Somera is a licensed stockbroker. The article has been prepared for general circulation for the reading public and must not be construed as an offer, or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any securities or financial instruments whether referred to herein or otherwise. Moreover, the public should be aware that the writer or any investing parties mentioned in the column may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of their reported or mentioned investment activity. You may reach the author at den.somera@manilatimes.net or densomera@msn.com


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