In the wake of the recession and other economic problems, many Americans are reluctant to try investing in the stock market. As a market study conducted by Bankrate revealed, nearly 76% of everyday consumers are wary of the stock market, because they feel it is too risky and too complicated. However, the success of a 17-year old from Queens, New York may change their minds: the high school senior recently made headlines around the world when it was revealed that he had made an eight-figure fortune by trading stocks during his lunch breaks.
Mohammed Islam, who is currently a student at Stuyvesant High School, started investing in penny stocks when he was only nine years old. His cousin soon introduced him to further financial markets, and Islam quickly developed what he calls a life-long love of trading. By following the markets and using everything from fundamental analysis to price action to speculate, Islam moved on to small mid-cap equities, derivatives, and finally, the futures market. Today, he specializes in trading on the success of gold and oil, and has an estimated fortune of $72 million.
Islam’s success is demonstrated by his lifestyle: he recently purchased a BMW, which he currently is unlicensed to drive, and rented an apartment in Manhattan. However, he still lives with his family in Queens: his parents, who are immigrants from Bangladesh, will not let him move out of their apartment until he is older. Islam also frequently treats friends and family members to meals at Morimoto, a five-star restaurant on 10th Avenue. He reports that his father no longer has to work.
Despite his success, Islam says that his parents are not overly thrilled with his trading: while both allow him to speculate, his father is not interested in finance and his mother is skeptical about the market’s security. However, he says a major part of his success has been his ability to continue trading despite bad choices and consequences. While he was originally “paralyzed” by his losses, he eventually learned to take them in stride. He cites the billionaire founder of Tudor Investment Corporation, Paul Tudor Jones, as the inspiration behind this lesson.
Islam intends to start a hedge fund with like-minded friends in June, when he will be old enough to get his broker-dealer license. They plan to earn a billion dollars in their first year, all while attending college. If you’ve been reluctant to invest in stocks, Islam’s success at such a young age is telling: your hesitation could be your loss.