The first round of monthly winners for the prestigious JSE Investment Challenge in 2024 have achieved phenomenal results, with one team, the ‘Wall Street Pedestrian’, accomplishing double-digit growth in their portfolio.


Published 25 Apr 2024
Posted by khashanem

The team, comprising a duo from the University of Johannesburg (UJ), claimed top honours in the ‘Spectacular Portfolio University’ category, setting a high benchmark of 13.89% equity growth in the first month of the competition.

Phindokuhle Mkhonza and Willford Gwabeni, who is also visually impaired, were able to adapt quickly to market changes by exploiting short-term opportunities offered by listed companies that consistently outperform others.

“Our primary strategy was to understand profitability and the use of liquidity in investments. The restrictions on how much we can buy based on what’s traded daily encourage a long-term orientation in our trading strategies. We analysed market behaviours and adjusted my strategies accordingly,” said Gwabeni.

The JSE Investment Challenge, now running for more than half a century, is designed to cultivate an investment culture and improve financial literacy across South African educational institutions, from schools to universities. This dynamic competition equips teams with a virtual R1 million fund to invest in real stocks listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange over a six-month period.

With a BCom General undergraduate degree and an advanced diploma in financial markets, Gwabeni was able to navigate the complexities of the stock market using a screen reader – the achievement reassuring him that he can compete on equal footing with other participants, unhindered by his disability. Gwabeni aspires to a career as an equity analyst, drawing inspiration from his role models like American stock trader, Jesse Livermore. He encouraged all individuals, especially those with disabilities, to relentlessly pursue their dreams.

“I joined the Investment Challenge because I thought it would be a platform where I could prove myself and showcase my capabilities despite my visual impairment. Fear often holds people back from pursuing their dreams. I encourage everyone, especially those with disabilities, to just get started. It’s like entering a race where the fastest runners chose not to participate; the ones who do compete become the fastest by default,” he said.

Experiencing growth within a real-life investing platform empowers young learners to make informed financial decisions, become financially literate early in life, and sets them on the path to building a secure financial future.

“The team’s success is a testament to the inclusive nature of this competition, which strives to be accessible to all aspiring investors, regardless of their physical abilities. We hope his triumph serves as an inspiration to others that no barrier should prevent anyone from pursuing and realising their financial aspirations," said Ralph Speirs, CSI Officer at the JSE.

Other category winners for March include:

  • Income Portfolio: ‘MP the Unpredictable’ from Mpumelelo Secondary School in Mpumalanga
  • Equity Portfolio: ‘Accountaholics’ from Tsogo Secondary School in the North West
  • Spectacular Portfolio (Schools): ‘Bochrim Tycoons’ from Yeshiva College in Gauteng
  • EFT/ETN Portfolio (Schools) Portfolio: ‘PTAT Traders’ from Tsogo Secondary School in the North West
  • EFT/ETN Portfolio (Universities): ‘EFT-Wealth Generators’ from University of Free State

Teams can still participate in the challenge, and  register electronically at and and to stay updated, follow the competition’s social media accounts on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and TikTok.



The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) has a well-established history of operating as a marketplace for trading financial products. It is a pioneering, globally connected exchange group that enables inclusive economic growth through trusted, world-class, socially responsible products, and services for the investor of the future. It offers secure and efficient primary and secondary capital markets across a diverse range of securities, spanning equities, derivatives, and debt markets. It prides itself on being the market of choice for local and international investors looking to gain exposure to leading capital markets on the African continent.

The JSE is currently ranked in the Top 20 largest stock exchanges in the world by market capitalisation, and is the largest stock exchange in Africa, having been in operation for over 136 years. As a leading global exchange, the JSE co-creates, unlocks value and makes real connections happen. 

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