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Calling all teenagers: could you write an article for the FT?


Trading cryptocurrencies, the allure of “buy now pay later” and the growing sway of “finfluencers” on TikTok and Instagram.

These are all big financial talking points for young people — but do you have what it takes to turn one into an article that could be published in the Financial Times?

Every year, the young financial journalist competition sets out to find the best young writers at UK schools. As well as cash prizes, you could join the ranks of budding journalists whose winning articles have been published in the FT.

This year’s questions share a common theme — the digitisation of finance.

Organised in partnership with the London Institute of Banking and Finance (LIBF), the FT’s Financial Literacy and Inclusion Campaign and the free FT for Schools programme, the contest is open to all students attending UK schools aged between 14 and 19. Entrants must write a well-argued article of 700-800 words on the themes below, according to their age group:

Questions for 18-19 year olds:
What are the pros and cons of investing in cryptocurrencies?

Klarna and “buy now pay later” schemes — are they helping people manage money or getting them into more debt?

Questions for 16-17 year olds:
What are the pros and cons of using social media as a channel for obtaining financial advice? Should we trust what “influencers” say?

With the increased use of contactless payments and online shopping, has cash been counted out? What might be the consequences of that?

Questions for 14-15 year olds:
How is technology changing the way we manage our money and what might be some of the consequences of this?

What would you like to learn at school about money today to help you feel more confident about your financial future?

With a deadline of March 18 next year, entries will be judged by Claer Barrett, presenter of the FT’s Money Clinic podcast, Bobby Seagull, the TV maths expert, and Catherine Winter, managing director of financial capability at the LIBF.

The judges are looking for stylish writing and original ideas, with evidence of research and further reading which supports the ideas being presented.

Want some free inspiration? All secondary school students can get free access to articles on by asking their school or college to register with FT Schools.

“Many of us wish we’d learned about money and finance at school, but not all young people are getting access to it,” Winter says. “Competitions like these help bring it to life and we hope will spark a life-long interest in learning more — it’s such a vital life skill.”

Entries must be submitted on the LIBF website before the deadline of Friday March 18 2022. Full terms and conditions can also be viewed on the site.

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