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September 25th, 2014

VP Investments delivers feature address at Schools’ Investment Game

 

FEATURE ADDRESS

AT THE LAUNCH OF THE

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO UNIT TRUST CORPORATION

SCHOOLS’ INVESTMENT GAMES

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2014

BY MR. SEKOU MARK
VICE PRESIDENT – INVESTMENT RESEARCH & PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT

Madame Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Ian Chinapoo – Executive Director of the Trinidad and Tobago Unit Trust Corporation, Managers and Staff of the Trust, teachers, students and representatives of the media.

It is my pleasure to address you all this morning, at this the launch of the 24th Edition of the Unit Trust Corporation’s Schools’ Investment Game.

In keeping with its developmental mandate, the Corporation has over the years, since its start-up in 1982, launched a number of initiatives aimed at improving the level of financial literacy in Trinidad and Tobago.  In this regard our Financial Planning Seminars which are conducted by our Marketing Department is well known and highly regarded by Unitholders.  Additionally, this event, our Schools’ Investment Game has become a fixture on the events calendar of many of our Nation’s Secondary Schools.

If I were to ask you one question this morning, a very basic question, could you provide the answer?

WHAT DOES THE TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO UNIT TRUST INVEST IN?

WE INVEST IN PEOPLE

Of all resources, the human resource is the most critical.

Education.  Training.  Cutting edge knowledge. Personal and professional development.  That, my friends is what The Investment Game is about.

How are you investing?  And no, I don’t refer to securities here.  How are you investing in yourself?

May I suggest three simple, yet effective ways to do this:

  1. DEVELOP YOUR SKILLS

Developing your skills doesn’t only mean furthering your education, though that is an important feature.  Investing in yourself through the development of your skills also means: participating in extra-curricular learning activities; attending workshops, conferences, webinars; and reading widely: books, articles, papers, anything remotely related to a talent or skill that you would like to acquire.

  1. GET A MENTOR

Get a mentor.  Get a mentor.  Get a mentor.  This cannot be overestimated.  Mentoring relationships are a powerful source of knowledge, inspiration and networking.  As a young adult, operating without a mentor is similar to walking in the dark – you may find your way around, but it would certainly be better if the lights were on, or you had someone with a light to guide you.  Make a list of everyone that you know who has a lot of experience in the field or endeavor that you are interested in, and approach them.  That’s how it starts!  Build a relationship with them, and watch yourself grow.

  1. BUILD A PERSONAL BRAND

When someone hears your name, what do they think about?  Your friends; acquaintances; teachers; family members – what are the first few things that come to their minds?  THAT IS YOUR PERSONAL BRAND. Do they think “excellence”, “hard-working”, “intelligent” “diligent”, or otherwise?  In today’s world, there is another wrinkle: when persons search for you online, what do they see?  Does your online presence fit the brand that you want for yourself?  Work relentlessly at creating, developing and cementing your personal brand.  It is your one of your most important resources.

I’ll close here.

Have I given you food for thought?  How many are willing to act on those thoughts, now that seeds have been sown?

Have I inspired you?  Remember that inspiration without action is procrastination.

For those that hope to hear a pointer or two on investment, here goes:

the prudent Portfolio Manager always pays particular attention to risk management.  That is the process whereby risks are actively identified, evaluated and controlled to ensure a higher likelihood of attaining investment objectives.  You must understand that, in general the higher the potential for reward, the greater the associated risk.  In executing your various investment strategies over the duration of the competition I urge you to hold that risk/return contradiction foremost in your minds.

Many, many years after you have left school, you would likely not remember the investment strategies that you employed in this game; the varying investment choices that you had to make to increase return while managing risk; it is likely that you would not even remember the names of many of the persons who are on your current investment teams!

What we do hope you remember two things, however: (1) the fundamentals of investment (investment literacy so to speak) and (2) the concept of investing in yourself.  

 

I thank you.