Survival of The Fittest: An Economics Student’s Perspective on Finance Lab


As the bell heralds the opening of the market, nerves turned into anticipation and excitement as trading begins… 

It’s just like a real dealing room but we’re in a computer lab at Leeds Met, with Y12 students from all over Yorkshire competing using the Finance Lab simulation in the annual Investment Challenge competition. 

Students work in teams of two. The Media Analyst anxiously waits for the latest news updates, maximum attention to detail essential to gain a competitive advantage. The Investment Analyst tracks the volatility of the market, reacting to rapid changes in prices. 

It is phenomenal to witness the different challenges and scenarios Finance Lab provides for students.  Every news update causes uproar in the lab as Media Analysts and Investors aim to make profitable decisions.  

Investment Analysts appreciate the challenge Media Analysts faced in keeping up with a constant in-flow of information.  In turn, Media Analysts appreciate the pressure faced by the traders due to the volatility in changes of prices and how a split second delay can make the difference between profit and loss. 

Some teams adopt unique strategies to gain a competitive advantage. Some decisions are made out of pure desperation; some out of risk-taking; and some out of strategically calculated decisions based on previous experiences.   

Students try to remain calm during the last moments of trading, but some teams decide to abandon their strategies as they aim to maximise profits during the last moments of trading. 

The closing bell is accompanied with screams of joy and despair as some of the students celebrate great profits, while others stare in agony at their computer screens. 

Finance Lab doesn’t just simulate the financial markets in an educating and user-friendly manner.  The level of engagement it creates in students transforms the conventional perception of learning into a uniquely engaging and challenging experience. 

Faffy Gwindi, Economics Undergraduate, Leeds Met University