Financial Literacy Challenge

The First Financial Literacy Challenge will be held Saturday, December 7, 2019

The Financial Literacy Challenge, hosted by the Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business & Economics, will be an intercollegiate competition in which students develop and present a personal financial budget and investing plan appropriate for a recent college graduate. The competition will be open to all Allegheny students, however participation in the challenge will be a mandatory assignment for students taking ECON 010 – Financial Literacy. There will be $5,000 in prizes and trophies awarded to student winners.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER for the 2019 Financial Literacy Challenge

Questions? Email: Sarah Holt,  Quigley Hall Coordinator at, or Professor Chris Allison,  Economics Department Entrepreneur in Residence at

How to Prepare 

Download these templates:

Financial Literacy Challenge Presentation Power Point Template

Financial Literacy Challenge Write-Up WORD Template

Financial Literacy Challenge Monthly Budget EXCEL Template

Follow these Detailed Entrant Guidelines:

  • Each entrant will prepare both a 4-5 page written plan AND present the plan in the form of a 15-slide; 15-minute presentation.
  • Each student will present the plan to the judges.
  • Each plan and presentation must use the attached monthly budget template.
  • You may use single spaced text or a detailed outline format.
  • Pick a start date like graduation or the starting date of your job.
  • Plan for a 1 year, 3 year and 5 year time horizon.
  • Financial goals should be clearly outlined, as should be the plan to achieve these goals.
  • The plan should include a brief discussion of the impact of the current state of the economy including GDP growth; rate of inflation; unemployment rate; and recent performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average; S&P 500; NASDAQ; and bond market.
  • An investment strategy that shows an understanding of the return characteristics of different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds
  • The plan must include an asset allocation, which is the mix of stocks & bonds that fits the student’s age as well as investment objectives.
  • A rationale of why the students chose their specific stocks, mutual funds, bonds or bond funds.
  • A monthly personal monthly budget must be including using template.
  • Please use a cover page and a table of contents.
  • Put all exhibits at the back of the plan as an appendix.
  • Number your pages of outline or text.
  • Your final page should be any sources cited or a bibliography.

Here are examples of successful plans:

How Entries will be Judged

A panel of judges consisting of Allegheny alumni and local investment professionals experienced in wealth management will be assembled to serve as judges.

Judges Scoring Methodology

  • Overall Creativity (20 Possible Points)
  • Consideration of Investment Plan (15 Points)
  • Discussion of Economic and Investment Risks (15 Points)
  • Clear Statement of Goals (10 Points)
  • Realistic Projection of Income (10 Possible Points)
  • Realistic Projection of Your Debt/Expenses (10 Possible Points)
  • Realistic Projection of Your Taxes (10 Possible Points)
  • Realistic Projection of Investment Returns (5 Possible Points)
  • Citation of Sources (5 Possible Points)
  • Total (100 Possible Points)