• Virtual stock trading challenge


    Given a new tack to reinvigorate its corporate commitment to promote and elevate the educational level of the general public, The Manila Times will be hosting a virtual stock trading contest for its readers, among others.

    Needless to say, the undertaking will not only foster higher understanding of the stock market but greater awareness about the role it plays in economic growth and nation building.

    The progress of the contest will be chronicled and reviewed in this column during its publication dates of Tuesday and Friday. The review will, at the same time, serve as a practical market investment advisory.

    The column will also endeavor to provide highly informed opinion and intellectual appraisals of investment principles from which the general investing public may, hopefully, learn deeper insights on how to trade more gainfully.

    Likewise, the column will provide timely information (both foreign and local) on market developments affecting the financial and business sector. It will also give updates on circulars and memos from the stock exchange affecting listed companies.

    Here’s the dare: Join the newspaper’s first virtual stock trading challenge, which will start on March 1 and is programmed to run through the next six months.

    Contest rules

    The rules are simple: First, that the entrant be a natural person and not a robot of some sort. Second, it is open to all who qualify based on the first rule regardless of age, gender, height, weight, size or shape, status, profession and/or political color.

    It doesn’t matter if you are already one of the so-called “insiders” like a licensed stock broker and trader, full-time market analyst and investment advisor or seasoned investor. You can simply be an amateur OFW, a newbie, or one of those wishing to make the first trade but somehow can’t muster the necessary confidence to do so. You are all qualified and welcome to join.

    You may not trade daily. Nonetheless, your trading orders (buying or selling) must always be accompanied with a short comment to explain or justify the move. The reason behind this requirement is to contribute in the accomplishment of the newspaper’s goal. The contest is designed to serve as an educational platform for the general public on stock trading and investing.

    Mindful of what this requirement and what the trading contest might create or produce to infringe the rules on the use and dissemination of material information on securities trading by the Securities Stock Exchange
    Commission, your real identify will not be used. This means, too, that your name will be kept confidential.

    You will instead be identified by a pseudonym or nom de guerre of your choice, which you and I alone will know.
    Unfortunately — or fortunately — you will also not know the real identities of your opponents and this column reserves the right to choose who are to play. This is to make sure the objectives of the exercise are fulfilled.

    Finally, you must submit a short write-up about your personal, academic and professional background.

    Trading mechanics

    A total of 10 participants will be chosen to play in each trading cycle. Each player will begin with a virtual fund of P500,000.

    Trading costs in the play will be the same transaction costs ordinary investors actually pay when buying or selling stocks through any of the online stock broking portals provided by members of the Philippine Stock Exchange.

    Among others, this will include the normal online commission charged by the brokerage firm of ¼ of 1.0 %. It will also include new transaction costs imposed by the Train law.

    For consistency of computation, you will be given the mathematical key factors to compute for buying and selling transaction costs. This should also help easily determine the profitability of your trades.

    To post an order or orders, you have to use trading order forms supplied for the purpose. This must be sent via email to den.somera@manilatimes.net, copy furnished densomera@msn.com and submitted not later than 12 midnight before the trading day of execution.

    Only trading orders received within the prescribed regulation time and confirmed received via a subsequent return email will be considered valid.

    You will receive the rest of the instructions for the trading contest if you make it among the lucky applicants to play.

    Bottom line

    The payback for joining the virtual stock trading contest is not only the prizes awaiting contestants but the enviable experience of competing in the most complicated but inviting realm of investment — no other financial endeavor has challenged the fantasy of people than making big money in the stock market.

    A notebook computer will be awarded to the winner with the highest profit or return on investment score. Two smart cell phones will be awarded to the winners with the next two best scores. The rest will receive a certificate of participation.

    The deadline for submission of applications is on or before 5:00 p.m. of February 23. The final lineup will be announced in this column on February 27.

    Luckily, the contest is a continuing game dedicated to helping the general investing public gain better knowledge on the capital market and greater skill on stock trading and investing.

    So, don’t be dismayed if you don’t make it in the list of contestants for the first round. You can always reapply in the succeeding rounds.

    Like in love and war, “Nothing in this world can take the place of the brave as fortune always favors the bold … and persistent.”

    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.


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