A unique initiative is underway at Hampshire Collegiate Prep School with the launch of a Stock Market Investment Club, the first of its kind in the UK. With access to live London Stock Exchange data, Prep School children aged between 9 and 11 are developing their financial literacy skills by applying their mathematical and computer knowledge in a real-world application. They are exploring new topics such as the impact of Brexit on investments, economics, world news, risk management and ethical investment.
Guiding the enthusiastic young investors through the complexities of investing in stocks and shares is financial expert Simon Brooks, previously Senior Fund Manager at Liverpool Asset Management. Divided into small groups, each team has a Lead Manager, a Deputy Fund Manager and two Research Analysts.
In 2019, club members are finalising their investment choices and making real purchases of stocks and shares. The school has recently accepted a generous donation to their investment pot from Thrings, a UK top 100 law firm with offices in Romsey, Hampshire, to invest on the Stock Market and will also be seeking further donations as the club grows.
The club is part of the school’s ambitious plans to expand its fields of study and engage pupils in a broad range of real life experiences beyond the curriculum. Since September, club members have pondered investment terminology; considered the ethics of investing in different sectors such as pharmaceuticals, oil and food production; explored the mysteries of the Financial Times; and experimented with different forms of statistical analysis.
“In a world where there is much talk of preparation, we are engaging pupils with authentic learning experiences in a safe and controlled environment; nothing quite so much tests your principles as backing them in a competitive market. The club introduces the children to a variety of complex multi-layered problem-solving experiences, building their competencies, their confidence and their understanding of the wider world,” said Cliff Canning, Headmaster, Hampshire Collegiate School.
Rachel Brooks, Partner at Thrings, added: “Thrings is very pleased to be supporting Hampshire Collegiate Prep School in what is an exciting and truly innovative initiative. One of the main aims of this project is to create an enjoyable and positive outcome for the pupils, who by gaining knowledge, skills and experience of the financial services industry, will hopefully be looked on more favourably by prospective employers when the time comes for them to leave full-time education and enter the world of work.”
The Club’s adviser, Simon Brooks, spent 25 years working in the financial sector. He was a government bond dealer and trader before becoming a fund manager, and was also Head of Portfolio Implementation at Skandia at the time when it was the UK’s largest holder of mutual funds.