New contest aims to test trading skills

Real cash prizes up for grabs in six-week ETF “fantasy” competition that is designed to help investors learn

New contest aims to test trading skills

Horizons ETFs continues to throw its energy into one of its “primary initiatives” with the ninth edition of its simulated investment contest.

In partnership with National Bank Direct Brokerage, The Biggest Winner trading contest kicks off on Monday (May 6), giving eligible Canadian investors the opportunity to learn about trading in a risk-free environment while competing for real cash prizes.

Participants open a simulated online brokerage account that starts with a balance of 100,000 virtual Canadian dollars. These “fantasy funds” are then used to virtually trade any ETF listed on the TSX. Entry into the contest, which runs for six weeks until June 14, is free.

While the trades don’t involve real money, there are genuine cash prizes up for grabs: $7,500 for the winner, $2,500 for the runner-up, and $500 for the six best weekly performers. To date, The Biggest Winner has hosted approximately 12,000 participants and awarded nearly $100,000 in cash prizes.

Steve Hawkins, the Horizons CEO and president, told WP that wannabe winners can’t afford to be a passive investor and need to trade at least several times a week.

He said the competition is important because, when it started, nobody else on the ETF landscape was trying to educate the public about the investment vehicle and how you use them. Hawkins added that his firm has been active with industry groups to create educational courses on ETFs.

“It’s been one of our primary goals and responsibilities to be a leading educator with respect to ETFs and the trading competition has been, for us, one of those spearheaded attacks that really can show an individual how they can trade an ETF – and that’s been one of our primary initiatives right from the start.”

The competition requires the contestant to be nimble and to learn to watch the markets, he said, admitting he didn’t set the world alight the first time he took part.

“I know how to trade ETFs and I generally take a more passive approach in my own personal accounts where it’s real money but in the trading competition you learn by being more active.

“It’s only a six-week contest so you are trying to make the most money you can. Not every trade will work for you so you have to really learn to watch the markets, be able to act nimbly, and that’s exactly what an ETF can do.

“It allows an investor to rotate in and out of sectors and asset classes very quickly to execute their investment decisions and trades right away. That’s why you love ETFs and why we like this contest because it really helps the investing public educate themselves on how to use them.”

To play, head to the Horizons ETFs website and follow the link to The Biggest Winner.