Anyone can have a strong impact and learn a lot through the Kuber Wizz programme if they fully engage and see it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
--BY YUJ JUNG KARKI
Kuber Wizz is a college-based stock market investment competition started by Kathmandu College of Management. The eight-month competition is the first programme of its kind in the country and is focused on providing students with hands-on experience in stock trading and investing through simulation training. The programme emphasises academic and practical expertise and is designed to enhance the value of the existing BBA programme by giving students real-world experience in stock market trading and operation.
To participate in the competition, students must form groups of five to 10 people and invest Rs 15,000 each in a seed fund in the form of equity. The college also provides each student with a loan of Rs 15,000 at an 8% interest rate which must be repaid to the college after eight months. This means that each student has a total investment fund of Rs 30,000 - 50% equity and 50% loan. Based on the size of the group, this leads to a total seed fund of Rs 150,000 to Rs 300,000 per group which is then invested in the stock market for eight months. At the end of the competition, the team that finishes in the first place is awarded a cash prize of Rs 30,000, the team in second place is given a cash prize of Rs 20,000, and the team in third place receives investment-related books.
As an individual, I have had many positive experiences as a Kcmite. However, the Kuber Wizz programme holds a special place in my heart because of the experiences it provided me which helped me build a strong foundation of financial knowledge and understanding of the stock market.
Now, let me take you back to my journey. On the first day of the Kuber Wizz Programme 2020, I and four other members, all with a marketing background and no experience in the stock market, entered the competition. We were the first marketing batch to participate in the programme, and our initial plan was to form groups with finance students in order to benefit from their expertise. However, none of us had the opportunity to do so because the groups of all the finance students were already formed. This presented us with the challenge of making an impact in the competition on our own, as we wanted to represent the marketing batch and also send a message to future batches that even without any prior knowledge of the market, it is possible to get a lot out of the programme and even win if you do your research, take classes, and work diligently as a team.
Another challenge we faced was that we were the smallest group in the competition. My group consisted of four other members: Pratham Singhania, Ashwini Pudasaini, Shirish Agrawal, and Eshita Shrestha. We entered the competition with the least amount of capital, Rs 150,000, which meant we had limited resources and had to be cautious in our selection of companies. Initially, sectors such as Microfinance and Manufacturing & Processing were out of the question for us due to the high per-unit prices of stocks in these sectors. The most feasible options for us were banks, hydro power, and insurance companies.
As beginners, we decided to play it safe and invest a majority of our portfolio in the banking sector. However, after one month, we found ourselves with a negative 10% ROI. Frustrated by our performance, we called for a heated meeting at a restaurant in Jhamsikhel where we determined that in order to succeed in the programme, we needed a significant amount of both fundamental and technical knowledge about stocks. We decided to take fundamental analysis classes from YouTube and paid technical analysis courses, and we also received special guidance from Sitaram Dhakal, the coordinator of the KCM Kuber Wizz programme and a financial expert. In addition, we used an online paid portal to perform technical analysis at every step of our journey.
"Given the limited time we had, we put in a lot of effort to learn as much as possible. We studied for hours each day, focusing on fundamental concepts such as the price-to-earnings ratio, price-to-book ratio, earnings per share, return on equity, dividend and bonus history, and more. We worked hard to understand the fundamentals and then applied that knowledge to analysing stocks."
In addition to our independent study, we also attended Kuber Wizz sessions led by experienced industry experts. These sessions were incredibly helpful in guiding our learning. We learned about important technical indicators such as support and resistance, trend lines, the relative strength index (RSI), the moving average convergence divergence (MACD), volume, and exponential moving averages. Through our journey, we discovered that it is always best to perform technical analysis on fundamentally sound stocks.
Diversifying our portfolio was another key strategy for us. Despite having limited capital that grew over time as we turned a profit, we invested in a variety of sectors including hydropower, commercial banks, development banks, investment, insurance, and manufacturing. We believed that diversifying our portfolio would make it more resilient and allow us to take advantage of growth opportunities in other sectors.
Proper work allocation was another important factor in our success. Ashwini was responsible for shortlisting the right stocks in the life and non-life insurance sectors, Pratham did the same for the hydropower and manufacturing sectors, and Shirish focused on the banking sector. Eshita served as the foundation of our group, setting up weekly meetings and staying up to date on all financial market news, while I performed technical and fundamental analysis on the shortlisted stocks. We learned that by dividing the work and working together, we were able to achieve more than we could have individually.
After overcoming an initial loss and putting in a lot of hard work and efficient teamwork, we finally managed to achieve an ROI of 72%, which we believe is the highest in the history of Kuber Wizz (thanks also to the bull market). Our efforts earned us a total of Rs 108,607, and we won the competition.
To be honest, we entered the competition with the goal of not only learning from it, but also winning it. As the first marketing batch to participate, we wanted to set an example for future batches that regardless of their background or level of knowledge, anyone can have a strong impact and learn a lot through the Kuber Wizz programme if they fully engage and see it as an opportunity to learn and grow. However, looking back now, I wonder if we should have taken more risks in the programme and been willing to fail in order to truly learn and grow.
The Rs 15,000 invested in the programme should be viewed as a fee for learning, and we should not be afraid to make mistakes, experiment, and learn from them. Even if we suffer significant losses in this programme, we can still apply those lessons to the real world market. In the end, what is most important is not necessarily winning in the KCM or Kuber Wizz programme, but rather using those experiences to succeed in life and in the real stock market.
(Karki is a founder of Yug Holdings Pvt Ltd and alumni of Kathmandu College of Management)