Baillie Gifford Essay 2013

Baillie Gifford and Financial Mail essay competition

By Stephen Womack
Updated: 16:39 GMT, 27 February 2009

Buying shares in Apple and Nintendo, investing in collectible cutlery and setting up an egg production business were among the ideas that helped Connor Mackay to scoop one of the top prizes in our schools essay competition.

Winner: Connor Mackay

The challenge facing students in the annual contest, run by Financial Mail and investment manager Baillie Gifford, was to write 750 words explaining how they would invest £10,000 for ten years.

Connor impressed the judges to come top in the 13 to 15 category and win a laptop computer. The 13-year-old is in Year 8 at Henlow Middle School in Bedfordshire.

His portfolio included conventional investments, such as National Savings, and shares in companies including Tesco and Apple.

Connor, who lives with his mother, Rachel, 37, an electricity account manager, and brother Elliot, 11, says: 'Most of my friends have iPods and Apple is one of those companies who seem to be always advancing their technology.' He also suggested using a portion of the £10,000 to buy stainless steel cutlery and tableware designed by Robert Welch and collected by his grandmother, Ruth Newbury, 65.

His final £400 was to be used buying chickens so he could become a supplier of free-range eggs and organic meat.

Connor's win is even more impressive because he is dyslexic and had to dictate his essay.

The laptop winner in the 16 to 18 category was Calum Peak, 17, for his analysis of how the City had undervalued the share price of four companies he believes are sound investments.

For each company he presented a case explaining why the City was wrong. 'I was able to do a lot of research and then think about why there might be a better future for these firms,' he says. His choices included property giant British Land and building supplier Wolseley.

Bright future: Calum Peak with parents Sinead and Errol and brother Renzo

Calum is in his final year at Fortismere School, Muswell Hill, north London, and he hopes to read business management at Oxford Brookes University.

He and his two-year-old brother Renzo live with their parents Sinead, 38, a pilates instructor, and Errol, 41, an architect.

Runner-up prizes of mini-notebook computers in the younger age section went to Jean Morris of Ysgol Syr Hugh Owen School, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, and Jack Walker from the Morna International College in Ibiza. Ben Freer of the King Edward VI School, Edgbaston,

Birmingham, and Jack Beadle of St Philip Howard Catholic High School, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, won mini computers in the 16 to 18 group.

- Read Connor Mackay's winning essay here.
- Read Calum Peak's winning essay here.

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