TY Financial Literacy Programme Update: Ups, Downs and #Better than Alex

Friday, 12 January 2024

TY Financial Literacy Programme Update: Ups, Downs and #Better than Alex

2024 kicked off with a lot of activity by the Irish Funds TY Programme. We continued our sessions in Larkin Community College and Drimnagh Castle, and started Coláiste Ciaran in Athlone.  We were joined by one of our interns, Julie Bowell, as well as industry leads Sinead Flynn, from Dechert, and Linda Loughran from KBC Asset Management who addressed over 80 students throughout the week.  

Larkin Community College 

In our first session we looked at the progression of the students’ Financial Times portfolio “Larkin Million” that they launched in December.  The students were disappointed in the performance as it was down a small percentage, but they were undeterred and asked us several questions about diversification and current news trends with the hopes of improving their portfolio.   

In our second session, Sinead Flynn from Dechert provided real life scenarios about the industry. We used major news events, such as the Alaskan Airlines midair blowout, to see the impact it had on Boeing’s share price. We also discussed the concept of insider trading and finished the session with the introduction of our second #BetterThanAlex video about the volatile nature of crypto. 

Drimnagh Castle Secondary School 

We were joined by Linda Loughran from KBC Asset Management during our session, and our eager "investment managers" of the "Drimnagh Millions" and "Drimnagh Billions" were able to view their highly successful portfolios. These were both up from inception, despite the current market fluctuations and they were able to compare values, which created a great sense of competition between the classmates. The students created their own Financial Times Portfolios that we will monitor over time.  

Colaiste Ciaran Athlone 

We visited Athlone this week (pictured above), delivering to an inspirational group of students. Following the introduction of Irish Funds and the funds industry, we showcased our new video to demonstrate the concept of saving - #BetterThanAlex. The students were encouraged to use their newfound critical thinking skills to identify stocks on the Nasdaq and Euronext to prepare to set up their personal portfolios on the Financial Times Portfolio model. The portfolios will go live next week, allowing the students to track the performance over time.  

Looking ahead 

After completing sessions at both Tuam and Sligo schools in 2023, we were excited to visit additional schools and meet more enthusiastic students willing to learn about financial literacy and the financial industry. We look forward to continuing our programme with these schools and to bringing additional schools on board in the course of 2024.