About the Team Challenge

Every spring, 400 students from high schools across Chicagoland come together to compete in the Magnetar Team Challenge.

The Magnetar Team Challenge is a simulated stock-trading competition that gives students first-hand experience of what it’s like to work on a trading floor.

Students compete as school teams, using a computer application to build and monitor a $100,000 mock stock portfolio.

The Challenge kicks off with the Mag Money Quiz Show, a game show–style contest in which students use handheld keypads to answer questions about finance & money management. With each correct answer, teams earn bonus cash to invest in their mock portfolio.

Then students take the floor as stock traders and analysts. Drawing on skills and knowledge learned in class, teams analyze, predict, and strategize to make investment decisions in real time. Financial services professionals from Magnetar Capital and other Chicago-area firms serve as coaches, sharing industry anecdotes and real-life examples to help students anticipate how economic factors are likely to affect the market and their stock portfolio.


At the end of the day, the teams with the best-performing portfolios win grants for their schools in the amount of $5,000, $2,500, or $1,500. The winner of the financial literacy competition wins a $1,500 school grant.