From Classroom to World Champions

From left: CME Challenge Winners Toh Qin Yi, Chong Li Shi and Darrell Lim

Yes, we beat some of the top Universities in the World, because we can

Final Year Banking & Financial Services students Toh Qin Yi, Chong Li Shi and Darrell Lim (above) had little or no experience with trading stocks in real life. So when their NYP lecturer registered them into an international four week electronic trading competition, they thought that winning was going to be tough, especially when they were pit against older students from 200 universities. But they did not think it impossible either, because they knew that they had received some training for it in their Diploma Course.

Indeed, NYP would be instrumental to their success. Against all odds, the team of three succeeded in clinching the World Champion title at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group 2016 Trading Challenge, beating top local universities like NTU, NUS and SMU, as well as international big names like Wharton, Carnegie Mellon, and Boston University. In fact, they are the first Singaporean team to have won the competition, which started in 2013.

The three received incidental training throughout their three years in polytechnic. Modules like International Finance & Treasury, Financial Markets & Instruments, and Alternative Investments & Hedge Funds laid the foundation for them.

A particular module that greatly enhanced their knowledge was the Teaching Enterprise Project at NYP’s Financial Training Centre (FTC). Having spent 7-weeks being attached to the FTC, the team was given the opportunity to hone their knowledge and skills in fundamental and technical analysis. They had access to real-time demonstration financial software such as the Bloomberg Professional Terminal and Interactive Broker trading platform, and practised trading with equities, commodities and Forex.

Their mentor, Mr Anthony Ng, who was their adviser throughout the competition, also guided them to trade confidently and successfully by ensuring they understood all aspects of the subject.

“Mr Ng was instrumental in our growth throughout our entire polytechnic education,” said Darrell. “He is always so dedicated and patient; explaining certain concepts to us to ensure we understood them, not just remembered them. Throughout this competition, he was not only encouraging but also provided a different perspective on a spectrum of events.”

In the 4-week online trading challenge, Darrell and his team were required to trade futures across all major asset classes on CQG, a real-time professional trading platform. They achieved more than 100% in returns over a span of 2 weeks, ending with a final simulated account balance of $500,018.75. The team deployed the strategy of managing their risk carefully. They also focused heavily on their technical skills as they felt that they had an edge due to their experience at the FTC.

“The best advice Mr Ng gave us was ‘Don’t Be Greedy’,” said Qin Yi.  

“As a team, we constantly kept ourselves up-to-date on the financial news and events that were happening around the globe daily. This not only gave us real-time information on financial news but also allowed us to make quick decisions on whether we should enter into a trade.

Said Darrell: “I strongly feel that the largest change in my mentality since winning the competition has to be the fact that we should never underestimate our own abilities. Even when pit against the top universities, we managed to emerge champions.” 

Because We Can


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