This spring, Gofore became a sponsor for a group of high school first grade students from Espoo that have joined a course in investing. The group, tutored by its social studies teacher, have 10,000 euros of real money to invest, and potential returns of their portfolio will be donated to charity.
The financial skills of teenagers and young adults are being promoted more than ever in Finland. A key facilitator here has been Economy and youth TAT, who works for every young person to have control over their own finances. One of their many services is an “investment school”; a course on the basics of saving by investing.
This spring, an investment school kicked off in e.g. Espoo, with high school freshmen. Provided the group finds a corporate sponsor, the investment school could include a charity portfolio, which in the Espoo group’s case was donated by Gofore. The youngsters can now invest 10,000 euros of real money with their teacher, for two years until their high school graduation.
One man’s idea(s)
Gofore got involved in the investment school project as suggested by Gofore’s Head of Mobile Development Juha Linnanen and carried out by the finance team. The IR team will also closely follow the investment school group’s investing and thoughts on share investing.
– I got excited for this project, as it would’ve been good to understand economics more growing up myself, and as a dad, I’d like to see kids these days take more interest in investing and saving. For Gofore, this is an act of social responsibility; we want to promote a better future for young people and will also hopefully be able to donate the returns to charity, says Linnanen.
The entire investment school concept is also thanks to one individual: it was originally developed by history and social studies teacher Timo Holmström, who also now tutors the Espoo group. The interest towards the investment school was huge in Espoo.
– We could only have 30 students in the group, but as many as 60 applied, Holmström says.
Students choose the investments
The potential profits of the charity portfolio will be donated to cancer research. The kids had a vote on the charity in the beginning of June, when Gofore representatives were also visiting the group. The investments will also be chosen by voting, out of funds and shares shortlisted by the kids themselves.
– We will first allocate 4,000 euros in funds and the rest on something like 12 direct share investments. We will begin investing in shares this fall, Holmström explains.
The group’s first fund investment was made earlier this spring in a USA ESG index fund. Before going on summer holiday, the kids voted to invest in an MSCI Europe fund managed by Blackrock. The group’s main rationale for this choice was that they “didn’t want to take too much USA risk” – so a very good start!
The investment school also includes an element of competition, as there are now a total of twelve charity portfolios around Finland. The group who generates the best yield will be rewarded at the end of the course in the spring of 2024. Whether they decide to invest in Gofore remains to be seen..
We will revisit the investment school group again this fall!
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