Barclays Fantasy Investment Game
Our online Fantasy Investment Game is now closed
Players had the opportunity to manage their own fantasy funds in a risk-free environment, even competing with friends and colleagues. They each had a £100,000 pot of virtual money to invest and be in with a chance to win £10,000, as well as other fantastic prizes.
To view the previous winners in our prestigious hall of fame, select from the years below. A massive thank you to everyone who participated.
Meet our 2012 Fantasy Investment portfolio winner
Let's hear it for Yawar S, who emerged top of the pile in a hard-fought contest to claim the first prize of £10,000.
Yawar is no stranger to our game, having bagged himself a monthly prize in last year's game. That got him thinking about just how well he could do if he entered right from the start and he was quick to sign up on time this year and be eligible for the top prize.
Familiar with the concept and structure of the game, he hit the ground running and began researching and selecting his funds straight away.
Keen to see how he could do over the 9-month period, he hoped for a top-50 finish but ending up doing much better.
It probably won't come as a shock to find out that Yawar is no novice and investments feature strongly in his academic and professional career. Familiar with the concept of managing a portfolio, he found the fund factsheets very useful in shaping his choices and quickly put together a strong portfolio.
His position at the top of the leader board meant almost daily log-ins as game fever took hold. Trading when he felt the need, usually 2-3 times a month, he kept a keen eye on his leader board rivals and found himself learning more every month.
A massive tennis fan, Yawar intends to spend some of his winnings on a hospitality box for the final of this year's ATP tennis event. Another 25% is to be allocated to his personal finances and the rest he will decide on at a later date.
Retired council worker wins 5k
Congratulations to Eliza R, who finished runner up this year and happily walked away with £5,000. Eliza heard about the game on a coach tour and having never done anything like this before, decided to look in to it. Curious, she went online and decided there was nothing to lose by giving it a go. Her main aim was to have some fun while learning about investing and she never dreamed she would be in contention for a main prize.
As a first-time player, she opted for some of the more risky funds to begin with and was pleasantly surprised to see this strategy, based
more on instinct than anything else, prove to be a winning one. Her climb up the leader board caught her attention and she began to look at the best way to consolidate her position at the top. Checking in a few times a month, she changed track and chose some more conservative funds in an effort to stay near the top.
Eliza's performance demonstrates how much can be achieved despite not having any previous investment experience. Playing the game has increased her confidence as an investor and she found the process very informative.
Still astonished with her final position, Eliza is now thinking of ways to spend her prize money and is considering treating herself to a new car. Not a bad return for a first-time player.
A keen eye on the market nets Chris a third-place prize
Well done Chris H, who has bagged £2,500 as a result of his third-place finish in this year's game. An industry professional and fund specialist, Chris came to the game equipped with investment knowledge but assumed that it would turn out to be no more than a bit of fun.
Intending to enjoy the fund selection process and add to his knowledge, Chris soon became engrossed in the game and his climb up the leader board resulted in this bit of fun turning towards strategy and planning.
In March, he won an Apple iPad and then really started to take things seriously, logging in a lot more. Examining the market before trading, he felt it best to shift to some of the more defensive funds and this proved to be a useful strategy as he maintained his position towards the top of the leader board.
Chris thoroughly enjoyed the game and felt its key plus points were the number of funds to choose from as well as the ability to see the his competitors’ portfolios.
Very pleased with this rewarding experience, Chris is busy making plans on how to spend his £2,500 prize and feels a family holiday and a Barclays ISA are a good way to enjoy his new gains.
Meet our 2011 Fantasy Investment portfolio winner
Congratulations to Michael K, a retired civil engineer from Belfast who recently saw off all competitors to seize the top prize of £25,000.
Our online Fantasy Investment Game generated a huge response from those eager to try their luck at fund investing but one man rose above all before him to claim the top prize.
A recent chat with the delighted Michael found him reflecting with satisfaction on his amazing journey with Barclays. A Formula One motor racing fan, he was tempted by an online advertisement to enter our game with modest expectations of hoping to achieve a top-100
spot. Little did he know what lay in store.
Neither complete novice nor hardcore investor, Michael proved that focus, enthusiasm, patience and diligence can reap rewards in the long run. With a keen eye on his competitors, he set about building his portfolio on a few simple, yet effective principles.
His strategy involved sticking to just 5 funds and taking the view that it is better to deal than not deal. Taking risks early to gain some momentum, he adopted a proactive approach to dealing and this ‘he who dares’ attitude paid dividends as he climbed to third on the leader board.
Monitoring his portfolio and the financial news regularly, his view of the market encouraged him to hold off until things slipped below 7% before making his move. Avoiding both the volatile gold funds and the less ambitious cautious funds, he quickly developed a trading strategy that reflected his risk attitude while enabling him to respond quickly to market events. Electing to spread your investments over a number of funds proves that sometimes the market can work with you.
Michael thoroughly enjoyed the fund selection and trading process and quickly became engrossed in the investment process. The game was massive fun and has given him renewed zest for the market. Still a bit stunned from his unexpected success, Michael is not yet certain what he’ll do with the prize money but a foreign holiday is high on his agenda.
Mum-to-be gains £10,000 Fantasy Investment Game prize
With a baby en route, £10,000 in the bank does no harm at all and that is just one of the reasons why Sharon S has a broader smile than most these days.
The busy mum of four, a mental health nurse from Scotland, was thrilled to discover that another bundle of joy valued at £10,000 will also be with her soon due to her excellent second-place performance in the Barclays Fantasy Investment Game.
The online competition allowed users to pick from a selection of funds
and watch their investments rise and fall over a period of 9 months. To her astonishment as a novice investor, Sharon moved swiftly up the leader board where she remained for the duration of the competition only to be edged off the top spot in the exciting closing stages.
An excited Sharon told us she found the whole experience very informative and rewarding and now feels much more comfortable about investing. Informed by a work colleague about the competition, she entered with nothing to lose and hoping only to gain some investing tips and extra knowledge. From such modest beginnings spring great things.
Following press clippings and online information as and when she could, Sharon’s strategy was to start out with some risky funds – it was a game after all – and then consolidate her initial success with a more cautious approach. Market events proved her reluctance to be overly adventurous was sound logic as her funds maintained steady progress throughout. She traded when she felt the need but never for the sake of it and found the fund fact sheets provided online to be a useful guide for her strategy.
Sharon enjoyed the whole process of fund selection, navigating the site, executing the trades and monitoring the progress of both herself and the growing list of players. She was surprised at how quickly she got to grips with investing and is keen to learn more.
Understandably, her new baby is dominating her thoughts and for now, her spending plans for her prize money mirror the more cautious parts of her fantasy portfolio – she intends to keep it in the bank and perhaps invest it over time. For now, maternal matters take priority over her finances.
£5,000 for giving it a go, not bad
Another success story for you courtesy of the Barclays Fantasy Investment Game, which has proven to be a huge hit with those looking to try some investing without the financial commitment.
We are delighted with the public response, but not as thrilled as Chris D, an electronics manufacturing professional from Stockport, whose astute dealings netted him a third-place finish to the tune of £5,000.
This long-term Barclays customer has delved into the market to some degree in the past with ISAs and some share dealing, but the game
involved a far more detailed look at the market. Happily, Chris was up to the challenge and once the game advertisement on the Barclays site caught his eye, he was hooked.
With an eye on the cash prize, Chris thought this would be a fun way to re-enter the investment world and he quickly began a fund-selection process based on daily media fund reviews and finance commentary. Encouraged by his funds’ steady improvement, he delved further into the research and took to daily monitoring of his online portfolio, trading in response to what was happening in the market.
It proved to be genuinely addictive for Chris, who expected it to be mildly diverting at best at first but found himself logging even when on holiday overseas to check his progress. Like many others, the thrill of success left him wanting more and his desire was reflected in an impressive climb up the leader board. Logging in daily as the competition reached its conclusion, Chris traded regularly and did not hesitate to change the makeup of his fund selection if he saw the need.
Pleased with his success and happy to have a lot more stock market knowledge, his thoughts are now turning towards spending his winnings. He intends to use part of the cash prize for his personal finances and the rest on what is sure to be a fantastic trip to New York.
Another happy winner walks away with a cash prize, who says it’s just a game?