Winners Announced: 2021 Intercollegiate Trading Competition

May 18, 2021

Student from Duke's Master of Engineering in Financial Technology program awarded the top prize in intercollegiate trading competition

Pancheng Qu, a student in the Master of Engineering in Financial Technology program at Duke University, has been awarded the top prize for the 2021 Intercollegiate Trading Competition. Qu placed first among 127 student traders and earned a $1,000 prize.

The Duke Master of Engineering in Financial Technology (FinTech) program, in collaboration with the Student Trading Lab at Interactive Brokers (NYSE: IBKR), hosted the 2021 FinTech Trading Competition from March 8 to May 8. Participants made trades within paper trading accounts provided by Interactive Brokers. The accounts gave students access to the same user-interface and features used by professional traders. Participants were ranked by risk-adjusted return (as measured by Sharpe Ratio) earned by their portfolios.

“The competition offered me an opportunity to practice my trading strategy with simulated money,” says Qu. “I plan to pursue a role in risk management after I graduate; however, I believe some trading knowledge is necessary for any professional who works in the finance industry. What I enjoyed most about the competition was discussing market information with the other students. Everyone has their own opinion but it is exciting to see who is right in the end.”

Ony Otiocha, a freshman at North Carolina State University who is studying Biological Sciences and planning to go to medical school in the future, placed second in the competition. Otiocha joined the competition without much experience with the stock market but found a strategy that worked. “I learned that real estate stocks are low risk investments, which boosted the amount of profit I was realizing in the end. This also increased my Sharpe Ratio,” said Otiocha. Otiocha earned a $750 prize.

Katie Baldridge, a student at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who is studying Quantitative Biology, placed third in the competition. “What I enjoyed most about the competition was practicing options strategies and testing them,” said Baldridge. “Lately the markets have been volatile, which increases implied volatility in turn increasing options pricing. This is a great opportunity to sell spreads based on a probable range and make a consistent daily return. I had never fully leveraged this view before, and I gained so much insight into new ideas about the markets.” Baldridge was awarded a $250 prize.

Thank you to all of the participants, we look forward to hosting the competition again in spring 2022!