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Could you be Australia’s Next Top Trader?

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This trading competition will teach you how to invest and put you in the running for a trip to the New York Stock Exchange.

If you've always wanted to dabble in the biggest stock market in the world, the US stock market, but have never committed to take the leap, this competition should be all the inspiration you need to get cracking (or, trading). Investment podcast Equity Mates, along with share trading app Stake, has launched a competition in search of Australia's Next Top Trader in a bid to get more young Australians excited by the idea of investing outside of Australia.

The Australia's Next Top Trader competition kicks off on 11 March and runs for six weeks, where traders will invest and trade in the US stock market with their own money via the Stake trading app. At the end of the six weeks the person with the highest percentage return on their invested money will win a trip to Wall Street to tour the New York Stock Exchange, all flights and accommodation included. You can also win a trip to Wall Street by referring the most amount of people to join the competition.

All trades will take place via Stake, which offers more than 3,300 US shares to choose from including big-name tech favourites like Netflix, Amazon, Google and Twitter, and no brokerage fees. During the competition traders are encouraged to listen to the Equity Mates podcast to gain from trading and investment tips and tricks, regular updates on the US market and lessons learned by the two hosts, Bryce and Alec.

The minimum starting investment is just $50, and the minimum trade value throughout the competition is $10 per trade. Because the winner is the person with the highest percentage return on their initial investment, not the highest dollar value return, you don't need to invest large amounts of cash to be in the running. If you play your trades right (and with a bit of luck!), you could technically win having invested just $50.

"We all know that money can be tight while you're a uni student, which is why the low minimum deposit of $50 to play and then minimum $10 trades is fantastic, and inclusive. In Australia, your average minimum purchase through your broker is usually $500," said Bryce.

The competition aims to inspire Australian millennials to start investing

Bryce said they're hoping the competition inspires young Australians to dip their toe in the water and start investing in shares, and to give them the confidence to venture away from the ASX. The podcast aims to be a free resource throughout the competition (and after the competition ends too) that people with no or minimal experience with investing can use to learn how it all works.

"We spend years equipping ourselves with skills to go out and earn money, but then we're not formally taught how to effectively manage our money once we do earn it. Understanding how you can use your money to generate wealth is quite powerful, and literally can be life changing. The good news is that it's not hard either, which is even more baffling that it's not taught in the education system," said Bryce.

"The whole premise of the competition is to give people with no idea about investing and trading, the basics they need to dip their toe into the market, and experience the opportunity that the US market presents. It also gives people who have some knowledge about trading and investing a chance to hone their skills, and perhaps try new strategies. We'll be supporting all competitors, of all different levels, throughout the competition, with videos and podcasts addressing everything from how to place your very first trade and find inspiration for buying your first company, through to using charts as an investing tool."

"We're trying to encourage as many uni students to get into the market as we can, by showing them the best thing to do is just start! We've played the local share market trading games, and not only do we find them a little boring and uninspiring, but there's also not a whole lot of support for those who have no idea what they're doing, it's easy to become disinterested," he said.

The competition is aimed at young Australians, but anyone is welcome to join. If you're keen to get involved, head over to the competition website here to sign up. You'll need to download the Stake app and fund your account with at least $50 ahead of 11 March when the competition begins.

Image: Shutterstock

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