Brandon Fleisher’s parents can thank his eighth-grade math teacher for a lot — $99,000, to be exact.
The teacher asked students to pick a stock to follow. Brandon chose Avalon Rare Metals, which hit an all-time high that spring, CNN Money reports.
That was four years ago. From there, the Toronto teenager started trading on paper and ultimately became so good his parents co-signed an account and gave him $48,000 to invest. While his fellow millennials favor cash over stocks, Brandon has grown his parents’ investment to $147,000.
Brandon, now a 17-year-old high-school senior, tripled his money by focusing on small-capitalization stocks, also known as small-caps, and holding onto them for no more than one year, CNN reports:
Brandon only owns eight stocks … He likes investing in small companies for a few reasons. When almost anything happens to the company or its industry, the news is bound to move a small stock.
Brandon also finds that the leadership of smaller companies is more accessible. (Yes, sometimes he calls them to pick their brains before making stock decisions.)
“It’s almost like you can give them a job interview to see if you would want that person to be the CEO,” he tells CNN.
Companies that Brandon has held in the past include Disney; trucking company Ryder and media firm InterActiveCorp.
Brandon also learns from his mistakes, the biggest of which he says was being afraid to buy at the right time, which he advises other investors to remedy by “learn[ing] until you’re not nervous anymore,” British publication The Telegraph reports:
If you didn’t research a stock and its shares go down, it’s your fault. Learn from your mistakes… A lot of people get scared out of stocks. A lot of them jump a bit and then go back up. My advice is do your homework and trust the numbers.
If Brandon Fleisher’s story inspires you to try your hand at stocks, first be sure to read “How to Get Into the Stock Market — Safely” and “9 Things Beginning Investors Don’t Know But Should.”
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