Beursrally: MFM students compete in virtual investment competition boosting team & competitive spirit

The Beursrally/Rallye Boursier is a virtual investment competition organized by the Belgian newspaper that mainly focuses on business and economics, De Tijd (Mediafin). This challenge lasts from the 16th of November until the 22nd of January. The goal? Choose the right investment portfolio with a budget of 50k to achieve as many gains as possible on the stock market. The rally provides an option to compete within a team against one another. This year the competition held over 30.825 participants, of which almost 7000 are students. The players are aged between 18 and 94. One of our Masters in Financial Management (MFM) students, Gijs Kriger, had the idea to start an internal competition within the Masters in Financial Management at Vlerick Business School.

The competition has been going steady for a couple of weeks and the final countdown is getting closer. The participating students and professors have chosen vastly different portfolios, which of course is visible in the results of the players. The leading player, Camil Boukari, has already gained returns of over 12k, whilst we have other players who have ended up making losses as well. It all depends on the risk the players are willing to take to become part of the victorious.

The Beursrally competition has really fired up the competitive spirit within the MFM students. To continue this pleasant rivalry, the founder of the competition keeps us informed about the state of the competition. These past few weeks Gijs Kriger has taken it unto himself to send us weekly updates about the competition. He mentions some interesting people from the leaderboard, highlights some of the investment strategies, and discusses different portfolios chosen by the students who are engaged. This weekly update has shown to be quite popular around campus, with everyone looking forward to a new informative update.

beursrally mfm update

Read the final edition of the Vlerick Times (click on image above)

Yasmine: The Beursrally is a very popular subject amongst the students right now. It has gotten a lot of people invested in the stock market and they seem to be actually enjoying the learning process as well. Is this something you foresaw, or how did you come about organizing this Beursrally?

Gijs: I participated in the competition last year, as well. For me personally, it was a very insightful experience and a great introduction to trading. During these COVID times, I also felt the need to make sure our master’s in financial management class was still engaging with one another. As such, I came up with the idea to organize something for which I could combine my interest in participating in the challenge again, whilst also boosting unity within our class. This rally is not part of our official curriculum, so the students get time to bond and learn out of the school context. Another driving factor was the low need for time in this rally. I realized last year; the competition does not take up more than a couple of minutes each day. An ideal combination, especially with the famously packed program the students of the financial master have.

Yasmine: Being one of the participants of the competition, I can definitely vouch for that. It does not take up too much time, it is more so a slow learning process spread over the weeks. Of course, it might not have been time-consuming for us, the participants, but for you, as an organizer, a lot of work must have gone into this project.

Gijs: Correct. Especially in the beginning, I had to set up a lot of stuff. I contacted several professors to ask whether they had any interest in joining the competition. I asked Vlerick Professor of Financial Services, Simon Ashby, to give a lecture, a sort of ‘investment strategies for dummies’. This lecture ended up being rather fruitful as well. Students took the given advice into consideration and did actually invest in Moderna and Pfizer as was suggested in the lecture. I also made sure my classmates got very excited about the competition, which I continued to do. That is the reason why I keep making weekly updates, it keeps everyone engaged. I must also admit that secretly I also like making the updates.

Yasmine: This weekly update you give, can you give me some information about the contents and how you came about them?

Gijs: Well, as I mentioned before they exist to keep the competitive beast in all of us alive. The update I provide is also rather short, it is a quick read, with only relevant information present. To add a little bit of extra spice, I decided to upgrade the formatting of my weekly updates. It looks a lot more appealing than a plain email.

Yasmine: Thank you very much Gijs. I think on behalf of the entire MFM class I can kindly mention that we all appreciate your efforts very dearly.

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