School of Business and Law

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Brighton brings home the OSTC Trading Challenge cup


Brighton’s Trading Team’s Performance in the OSTC Trading Challenge

Sam Baker, Brighton graduate and Managing Director of the Brighton branch of OSTC

The OSTC Trading Competition is an annual trading competition between the traders of the University of Brighton and Sussex University, which is hosted by OSTC, an international proprietary trading company. Students who participated received an introduction lecture before the trading began. This involved the Managing Director of the Brighton branch, Sam Baker, coming into both Universities to deliver a lecture on trading techniques and fundamental knowledge of the markets.

This not only provided a solid foundation of knowledge to trade in the challenge but also coincided with the content being studied on the Finance and Investment BSc degree and Finance and Investment MSc at Brighton. Sam mentioned the dynamics of the markets, and how simple economic theory can drive prices in the markets, as well as technical indicators. Both theories are linked with multiple modules learnt on the degree (eg, Behavioural Finance in the markets).

The trading challenge welcomed traders of all abilities and degree courses. Amongst the winning team were 1st, 2nd, and final year students from a range of courses in Brighton Business School, who contributed to a 6-digit total profit figure. During the game, it was evident amongst the traders that they were not only beginning to implement Sam’s guidance into their trades but were also using course content, such as Portfolio Theory and international economic theory into their execution methods.

The winning difference

We are one of only a handful of universities in the UK to have a trading room that
simulates a real trading environment with up-to-the-minute data from Reuters

On the completion of the month-long trading competition, the profit and loss of each University team was added, and compared to determine the victor. Brighton’s total profit figure equated to £113,588.60, while Sussex lost a total of -£767,288.97. Despite the sizable difference in profit/loss figures, this is the first time Brighton have won the competition in three years.
What stood out as the key factor that determined the win for Brighton would be the efficiency of risk management used by all traders on the winning team. Before the game started, all Brighton traders came together in the Investment and Trading Society so we could determine risk management rules. Losing trades when speculating on the market is natural and often unavoidable, however, the extent of the loss is 100% manageable. With this in mind, we discussed stop-loss limits that would be used, and it is evident in the results that this was an imperative factor that contributed towards our success.

Naturally there was a highly competitive culture when trading, each student wanting to be the most profitable. This acted as a driving force to motivate students to trade smarter and research further. The high-paced atmosphere not only emphasises the importance of decision-making, but replicates real-life situations also.

For those that hadn’t experienced exposure on the financial markets previous to the challenge, it was a great learning curve into the dynamics of trading, and the techniques used by professionals in the industry. On top of this, it allowed students to learn the structure of futures derivatives, commodities and index trackers; all of which were traded in the challenge.

Since the end of the competition, those who participated continue to develop ideas in demo trading accounts of their own.

Well done to everyone who took part, we’re already looking forward to next year’s competition!


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Michael Batt • March 27, 2017

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