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A worthwhile investment

Queen’s students will vie for the title of Canada’s top student investor this winter, while at the same time raising money for a good cause.

The Capitalize for Kids Student Challenge will feature more than a thousand students from 30 different universities across Canada going head to head in a portfolio management competition. There is no cost to register, but to be eligible for prizes and professional benefits such as mentorship, participants must fundraise at least $100 to support cutting-edge research and programs at the Centre for Brain and Mental Health at SickKids Hospital in Toronto.

[Joshua Wine, Jack Hayward, and Lauren Wong]
Joshua Wine, Jack Hayward, and Lauren Wong plan to keep a close eye on the stock ticker in Goodes Hall once the Capitalize for Kids Student Challenge kicks off Jan. 16. The national portfolio management competition will give students the opportunity to hone their financial management skills while at the same time raising money in support of children’s brain and mental-health research.

Joshua Wine, Com’17, Jack Hayward, Com’17, and Lauren Wong, Com’17 – executive members of Queen’s University Investment Counsel – are encouraging Queen’s students from all academic programs to participate in the competition.

“Nearly everyone I talk to has a friend or family member or knows someone who experienced a brain or mental health issue when they were young,” says Mr. Wine. “The Student Challenge gives students the chance to support a worthy cause as they develop the skills and experience necessary for an investment career after graduation.”

From Jan. 16-April 16, students will select and manage an investment portfolio. Participants must submit a 500-word explanation of their investment thesis. Final ranking is determined by the performance of the portfolio and a juried evaluation of the provided rationale.

Capital for a cause

The Student Investor Challenge is hosted by Capitalize for Kids Foundation, which was established by Queen’s alumni Jeff Gallant, Com’11, and Kyle MacDonald, Com’11, in 2014. Justin Scaini, Artsci’13, Associate Director, Capitalize for Kids, says the organization launched the student challenge in order to engage future investment leaders who want to make a difference.

Dynamic Duo
Smith School of Business profiled Jeff Gallant and Kyle MacDonald, founders of Capitalize for Kids, in 2014. Read more about their charitable work

“Mental health is the number one health issue facing young people,” says Mr. Scaini, who notes that young people between the ages of 15 and 24 experience mental illness and/or substance-use disorders more than any other age group. “To tackle this immense challenge, Capitalize for Kids supports projects focused on depression and brain injuries, which are among the most prevalent issues experienced by children and youth.”

Mr. Scaini developed a passion for supporting youth mental health in his second year at Queen’s. He became involved in Jack.org, which was founded by Eric Windeler and Sandra Hanington after their son died by suicide in March 2010. After acting in a Jack.org educational video, Mr. Scaini played a leading role in organizing the Jack Summit (formerly Unleash the Noise), a national student mental health innovation summit held each year in Toronto.

After working with Accenture as a management consultant after graduation, Mr. Scaini jumped at the chance to join Capitalize for Kids, where he could combine his passion for improving youth mental health with his professional interests.

Investing in financial literacy

Mr. Scaini says the investment challenge also offers educational value for university students across all disciplines.

“With the challenge, we wanted to enhance financial literacy of young people. We believe the competition is an engaging way to teach students about investing and portfolio management,” he says.

Mr. Wine, the Queen’s student organizing the competition on campus, agrees the competition has the potential to make the stock market less intimidating for students.

“We are at the point in our lives where we will be earning a salary soon, so it’s a good time to learn more about the stock market and gain a greater awareness of investment opportunities,” he says.

The deadline to sign up for the competition is Jan. 15. Visit the Capitalize for Kids website for more information.