A FACULTY of Pharmacy sophomore recently got the number one spot in the “virtual” Online Stock Trading Tournament launched by the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) in November 2003.

Mark Lester Sy, 19, emerged as winner among 100 participants after dominating the charts with an accumulated 103% increase on his portfolio value in the final analysis of the online trading simulation game.

“I enjoyed the game so much. Since it was based on the actual stock-trading of PSE, it required of us more in-depth analysis and critical thinking which was a good venue for me to practice the theories I have only read in books,” Sy was quoted as saying in an interview.

The online game, which was opened to members of the Philippine Association of Collegiate Schools of Business or PACSB based in Manila, ended last in January 31.

Reports from the PSE website said Sy’s initial portfolio value of P2 million ballooned to P 4,059, 463.86 out of about 783 trading attempts within two months.

Sy said he was enticed to try stock trading when he read “Market Wizard,” a collection of interviews with America’s top stock traders, back in high school.

He said he sees himself investing and trading full-time when he steps out of college.

Sy explained that in the simulation game, he bought majority of shares from PhilWeb because “its price rarely fluctuates, being the most stable among the others.”

He added he was surprised though, that PhilWeb’s market price has suddenly dropped from 0.11 to 0.01.

De La Salle University students Kai Wai Choi and Jervis Tinimbang followed behind Sy and have consistently occupied the second and third places, respectively. Fourth in rank was Paul Gaw of Chang Kai Shek College.

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John Carlo Luarte of the Philippine School for Business Administration was in fifth place while Kenneth Ng was sixth.

Cash and prizes such as personal computer, personal digital assistant, digital camera and mobile phone were given away during the awarding ceremony on February 5.

The online game was aimed at equipping players with knowledge on investment techniques and helping them predict market behavior. As in the actual PSE trading floor, transactions were made from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

Real-time prices as well as the same trading rules and regulations in the PSE including commission, transaction fees and taxes were also applied in the game. Dexter R. Matilla

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