Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Money management and investment options bamboozle most of us, but one Year 10 student at The Armidale School is already mastering it.

Calculated sharemarket risk, compound interest and common sense were all part of an investment strategy that elevated Year 10 TAS student David Karnaghan to first in the state in a national financial literacy competition. He was named the NSW 16-18 year winner of the Suncorp Bank Essi Money Challenge, which he completed as part of a Maths assessment last term.

“I didn’t really expect to be at the top of my class, let alone top of the state,” David said.

“I think that the most interesting thing that I was able to learn about was using the stock market as well as the advantages and disadvantages associated with investing my savings rather than just  spending them or having them sit in the bank doing nothing.”

“I also began to understand the  processes of how to invest, which is a good foundation for the future.” 

The competition required students to explore concepts of earning, saving, spending and investing to maximise returns, giving them insight into real world challenges such as bank interest rates, opportunity cost and sharemarket  volatility. More than 9,200 students from 320 secondary schools across Australia participated in the national competition, organised by the non-profit Financial Basics Foundation (FBF). 

“With financial literacy lacking as a standalone course in Australian state and territory curricula, the need to enhance the financial literacy skills of Australian teenagers has become increasingly urgent,” FBF Chief Executive Katrina Samios said.

“The current cost-of-living crisis is impacting  families and teenagers across the nation. Addressing the financial literacy gap is crucial, and initiatives like the ESSI Money Challenge play a pivotal role in this endeavour.” 

David’s teacher Mrs Elaine McKellar said the competition helps build awareness of what happens in the real world and provides scenarios that would be difficult to teach otherwise.  

“The fact that it is ‘risk-free’ also allows the students to see what can happen with their money if they make poor decisions.”

“The students really engaged well with the task – not only were  students happy to engage with it in the classroom, but they continued to engage with it at  home during their own time.”

“They enjoyed playing it, and there was plenty of conversation around the school about how they were going with the challenge,” she said. 

For his efforts David won a $250 EFTPOS gift card – which he says he will ‘spend’ wisely. 

Image: TAS Principal Dr Rachel Horton presented David with his prize for topping the 16-18 years ESSI Money Challenge for NSW.

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