Posted Date: 12/16/2022
Braden Rupp got hooked on investing as a young boy, when he started investing casually with the help of his grandfather.
This semester, he and a team of students at the Andover Center for Advanced Professional Studies have become one of the top investment teams in the world.
Braden, a senior at Andover High School, is leading a team of four in the Wharton Global High School Investment Competition sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania. At press time, the Andover team was 156th out of more than 5,000 teams.
“Right now, we’re beating the market,” Braden says. “We’re at 8.5 percent return on investment, but yesterday we were at 10 percent. It shows how volatile the market is.”
In the competition, students are given $100,000 in simulated money and a set of parameters by which they can invest. They are investing on behalf of a fictional persona who is accompanied by a case study explaining his or her investment needs. The Andover team’s fictional investor is a believer in green energy and also wants capital to open a yoga studio in five years. The team must find investments that would fall within the investor’s values.
"There’s a moral value of stock, and there’s the actual value,” Braden says. “They’re willing to take a loss short-term for gains long-term.”
Other team members include Kael Mears, a senior at Andover Central high School; Nathan Henning, a senior at ACHS; and Nathan Wiggans, a junior at AHS.
Kael says his favorite part of the competition is researching companies, such as referencing their 10-Q disclosure forms, reading news articles and considering how current events could affect companies.
“It’s helped my perception of what’s going on in the world,” he says. “We’ve had to know things like how the situation in Russia and Ukraine is going to affect grain prices. We may not think we’re personally affected by it, but it makes you want to know more.”
Braden was already considering a career in investing. Now Kael says he is, as well.
“It’s make-or-break time for me,” Kael says of his upcoming high school graduation. “I needed to know: ‘Do I enjoy this?’ And I love the problem-solving process and researching different companies.”