Every year thousands of students take part in the prestigious CFA Institute Research Challenge, and compete with the best, through interaction with investment professionals and top accounting firms. As in previous years, a team of NUS BBA students recently won the regional round of the competition, and will represent Singapore in the Asia-Pacific round held in Bangkok on April 23-24. These 20-something-year-olds took on finance professionals, through intense hard work and financial acumen. Here are their thoughts:
Our journey began in September 2013, when we got together to take part in the CFA Institute Research Challenge. What started just for fun, soon became a memorable experience of learning.
Our challenge was to analyse a public company, Courts Asia, and present a report for a buy or sell recommendation with a suggested target price to a high profile panel of industry practitioners. We beat other NUS teams to win the first round of the competition. Next came the regional round, where we were up against four other universities: SMU, NTU, UniSIM and James Cook University. After being judged on the quality and rigour of our research report, its delivery and our ability to answer and respond to detailed analysis from the judges, we emerged as overall champions.
The past four months have been long yet meaningful, with countless hours of work, analysing research reports, constructing complex financial models, engaging in intense discussions, rehearsing and “re-re-rehearsing” our presentations (as our faculty advisor Dr Hon Sing Lee would say). Gruelling, yet fulfilling, as we put our hearts and souls in giving our best.
As a team, we have grown and learned a lot. In addition to acquiring technical skills, the biggest benefit to us is the number of friendships and ties we have forged. We are indebted to Dr Lee for his support and guidance, and for being so patient with us at all times. He has inspired us, taught us to be more “Zen” like, and most importantly, stay curious and have a positive state of mind.
This journey is far from over. We will be representing Singapore in the upcoming regional and global rounds in Thailand in April. Hopefully, with some luck and hard work, we will be able to replicate our success, and do the School proud.
– Jason, John, Li En, Mitchell and Wei Ming