SIXTH formers from Chepstow Comprehensive School have beaten the stock market to reach the regional final of a national investment competition.

Gemma Pyke, Rebecca Hollow, Sophie Jackson and Zoe Scrimshaw gave themselves the tongue-in-cheek team name “Brains Aren’t Everything” when competing against more than 30,000 other students across the UK in the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) Student Investor Challenge, including other teams from within Chepstow Comprehensive.

But the 16 and 17-year-olds, who are studying A-level business and economics, made more than £10,000 trading in virtual shares in just three months, outperforming the FTSE 100 share index in the process.

They used £100,000 of virtual money to buy and sell shares and yesterday represented their school at the South West regional final, held in Bristol, and could make it to the national final in April to win an all-expenses-paid educational trip to New York and £2,000 for their school.

Head of business studies Andy Williams said a visit from Rod McKee from the IFS proved to be a pivotal moment for the team, as they followed his advice on buying and trading shares to the letter.

“They followed share prices for three months and started to get really interested (in the markets) through the competition, realising they had to buy when the share prices were down,” said Mr Williams, who has taught at the school for 20 years.

“They looked for shares that were rising but a long way from their peak.

“This is our third year of entering the competition but the first time we’re through to the regional final.”

Mr Williams added: “I think this has done their confidence a world of good.”