Education News


May 14, 2024 | Campus News

In the fast-paced world of finance, where strategic acumen meets market volatility, two students from the Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) have emerged as exemplars of analytical prowess and investment foresight.

Lai Shu Juan, a Bachelor of Banking and Finance (Investment and Risk Management) student, and Paveedra Devi pursuing a Bachelor of Banking and Finance (Financial Technology), recently clinched the top positions in the lowest Max Drawdown category of the prestigious CMT Association's February 2024 Investment Challenge.

The CMT Association, renowned as a global credentialing body with almost five decades of service to the financial industry, hosts the Global Investment Challenge semiannually. This challenge provides candidates of the CMT Programme and students from partner academic institutions, like APU, a real-world platform to hone their technical analysis skills, mirroring the practices of top investment professionals.

APU's selection as a CMT Academic Partner Programme Institute underscores its steadfast commitment to preparing students for the rigours of the financial world through career-oriented education and practical learning experiences.

Mentored by Dr Ahmad Danial Zainudin, a Senior Lecturer at APU's School of Accounting and Finance (SoAF), Lai Shu Juan and Paveedra Devi stood out among 552 participants representing 27 countries and 32 universities.

Throughout an intense eight-week virtual competition, the duo utilised financial analysis software, particularly Optuma, to simulate real-world investing scenarios. Their journey commenced with a comprehensive analysis of the NASDAQ-100 stock index, delving into macroeconomic influences and microeconomic impacts on share prices. Understanding the intricacies of investment risk tolerance and effective money management laid a robust foundation for their strategies.

Shu Juan strategically opted for sectors known for lower volatility, such as retail and consumer staples, aiming for stability amidst market fluctuations. In contrast, Paveedra adopted a diversified approach, allocating funds across technology, healthcare, finance, and consumer goods sectors. Her portfolio balanced growth potential with dividend-yielding stocks, a testament to her risk management skills.

The competition demanded rigorous adherence to technical analysis principles. Each participant was required to submit a minimum of 16 trade ideas, supported by detailed rationales encompassing entry points, target prices, and stop-loss orders. Moreover, participants had to provide chart analyses to substantiate their decisions.

One standout metric in the challenge was the Max Drawdown, a measure of portfolio risk defined as the maximum decline in value from a peak before a new peak is reached. A lower drawdown signifies a more stable and resilient investment strategy. Lai Shu Juan and Paveedra Devi achieved remarkable results, posting a Max Drawdown of 0.67%, surpassing renowned institutions like the University of Toronto Rotman School of Management (2.28%) and Taylor's University (2.57%).

Reflected on their experience, Shu Juan shared, “Participating in this competition has deepened my understanding of professional investment strategies." Paveedra added, "I've gained practical insights into decision-making, risk management, and trading essentials."

Dr Ahmad Danial Zainudin, reflecting on his students' accomplishments, noted their exceptional passion and commitment to mastering investment strategies and market dynamics. "Despite their limited trading experience, their eagerness to learn and apply theoretical knowledge in a practical setting was evident throughout the competition," remarked Dr Danial.

Associate Professor Dr Chong Lee Lee, Head of APU's School of Accounting and Finance, emphasised the significance of this achievement within the context of APU's academic programmes. "The success of Shu Juan and Paveedra underscores the efficacy of our curriculum, which bridges theoretical understanding with hands-on application," noted Dr Chong. "Their triumph exemplifies the calibre of talent our institution nurtures, setting a high standard for future finance professionals."

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