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Watermark

A long-term investor in the making

By Taipan
17 Jun 2021

We always hope to influence our children for the best, but it’s amazing what they pick up.

A friend of mine who works in the finance industry is an admittedly conservative investor. He is dedicated to his long-term mutual fund accounts and is not one to take unnecessary risks.

But recently, the chap's teenage son has found a new interest — the meme stock world. Meme stocks are troubled businesses that get unusual boosts from social media, mainly popular forum Reddit, where amateur investors promote stocks to squeeze out short sellers. Think GameStop or AMC. These stocks are as risky as they come.

Naturally, my friend was taken aback when his teen said he was interested in investing, especially in volatile companies.

Teenagers back in our day were more concerned about how they could get into the pub underage or what football team was winning the league. Stocks were considered boring. But my friend saw this as a teaching moment — and a rare opportunity to engage with a son who was finally eager to talk to him — so he encouraged his son to look further into his investing options.

The boy was under 18, so my friend opened an investment account for him in his name and gave him a small amount of money to start investing.

It quickly became the boy's dedicated pastime. So much so, that my friend was being greeted at the door every day by an excited son, eager to tell him the latest stock prices and investing trends that were popular on Reddit.

After a few weeks, my friend decided to push his son a bit more about his investment choices. He probed, asking how much he was investing in these meme stocks. But the boy responded with surprise: “Oh, those are too risky for me. I'm investing for the long term."

Proof there is hope yet for the next generation of investors.

By Taipan
17 Jun 2021