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New Investment Book Focuses on Advising Teens And Millennials

Andrew Brierty wants teens and other millennials to understand the power of building wealth while young.

Andrew Brierty wants teens and other millennials to understand the power of building wealth while young.

Young Finance Guru Makes Language Of Money And Saving Understandable For All Readers

By Mara Soloway

Note to Warren Buffett: your successor is a 16-year-old high school junior living in Missouri City. Andrew Brierty is on a mission to teach teens and young adults about the power of saving money when you’re young. He has put his wisdom into Step Into Wall St.: Grow Your Wealth Young, his book that puts the complicated tenets of investing and saving into useful examples and stories told in understandable language. He does the same on his blog, wallstreetforteens.com.

“They’re geared more to teens and millennials because I write from the perspective of one. I am one. I put things in terms that are relatable and understandable,” he said. “But the audience for the book and blog could be anyone who’s unfamiliar, still a little freaked out to think about the stock market. There are lessons for everyone.”

His realistic advice includes saving, practicing and learning, not rushing out and buying stocks without studying beforehand. “I don’t say in the book to open an account and start buying stocks the next day. I say to practice and learn on the online simulators that I reference where you can play the stock market without any money. Then take what you learn from them and in the book before you really get started.”

One of Andrew’s blog posts points out that the majority of college grads have less than $1,000 in savings. “If you look at the stats for millennials as a whole, it’s rare for them to have any savings these days,” he said. Andrew thinks that teens probably have almost nothing. How do you get young people excited about saving? He says understanding the value of compound interest is the key.

“If you put $1,000 away when you’re 15 or 20, it could be doubled in 10 years, and it could five times as much in 20 years or 30 years. It can grow exponentially,” Andrew explained.

Even teens making minimum wage could start saving and investing. “Most people think they need $30-50K to start investing. The truth is you don’t need more than $100 – you can even start investing with $50. You just need to make sure to save a little bit at a time. You’ll be surprised what it can do for you.”

Andrew has a “shopping with a twist of savings” technique for anyone heading to the mall. “Say you have 100 bucks, and you go to Abercrombie & Fitch and spend $50 on a shirt. Put the other $50 toward that company’s stock, making money off what you buy.” The same principle goes for Starbucks coffee regulars. “If you’re going to go to Starbucks and buy a $4 drink every day, pay with a $5 bill and put the rest in a jar. Do that for an entire year, and you’ll be surprised how much it adds up to.”

Once new investors understand the terminology and the risks, does Andrew advise putting money into stocks or mutual funds? It depends.

“For those who are more willing to put forth the effort to research stocks and really pay attention, I would advise stocks. But if you don’t have the time or if you’re not really confident, go with mutual funds or index funds,” he said. Andrew likes exchange traded funds (ETFs) that hold diverse assets to lower risk.

Andrew has been investing since he got his first Nike apparel stock as a 15th birthday present. It was a perfect gift, since he’s always been interested in finance and he loves sports. When not participating on the high school basketball and track teams, playing the drums or hanging out with his friends, Andrew is tuned in to CNBC and Fox Business, checking the major indexes, and researching topics of interest, such as job creation, company performance, international economies and Social Security, which he is pretty sure his generation won’t be able to depend upon.

“The sad truth is that it’s going to be very rough for my generation. By the time we get to that age, we won’t be able to rely on the whole social security pension fund in the same way,” Andrew said. “That’s why I encourage to start saving and investing – plan for your future and get a head start when you’re young.”

In his future, Andrew sees himself attending a university with one of the best business and finance schools, probably on the East Coast or in Europe. After that, he wants to run his own hedge fund. But he is no Wolf of Wall Street.

“Hedge funds have a negative reputation partly because people in the industry have manipulated and cheated their way to make a lot of money. A hedge fund is really an operating firm that pools money, invests with its own specific strategy and gives profits back to investors. They look to make money no matter how the market does,” he expained. Not everyone can invest in a hedge fund; laws dictate who is eligible.

Lately, his friends have been asking him questions about how to get started saving and investing. They will thank him someday. That Nike apparel stock Andrew got for his 15th birthday? It has almost doubled in value since then.


Step Into Wall St. is available in print and electronic format on Amazon. Andrew’s blog is wallstreetforteens.com

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