South students invest in stock market, their futures


Illustration by Raya Shoilekova

Samantha Boas, staff reporter

Apple, Amazon, Tesla, PayPal, Netflix—to some, these companies are just a couple of the largest corporations in the world, but to sophomore Angela Shechtman, they are more than just that. These five are a few of the stocks that Shechtman invests in.

According to Shechtman, the stock market has always been a big part of her life. She says that former hedge fund manager Jim Cramer’s show titled “Mad Money” is on frequently in her house and that the newspapers are constantly turned open to the finance section. The world of business has a large role in Shechtman’s family.

“[My mother] is a financial advisor so she invests other people’s money,” Shechtman said. “For my whole life she’s been teaching me a lot of what she knows. She’s taught me that it’s better to sell when you’re higher and buy when you’re lower because people get really anxious when the market’s low and pull [their money] out. She’s told me to stay in the market, all of the volatility will pass.”

Junior Jenny Siegel learned about the stock market through a family friend. Siegel says that during her Bat Mitzvah in 2014, she was given stock in Alibaba as a gift. According to Siegel, Alibaba, a Chinese company, is similar to Amazon.

“Amazon [stock] has been booming the last [few years],” Siegel said. “The markets in China were doing very well at the time [of my Bat Mitzvah], so based on business and economic assumption [my family friend] was like, ‘Ok, Amazon is flourishing [and Alibaba is a very similar concept].’ He could foresee success in the company and that was why he gave it to me.”

Brian Whalen, sponsor of Investment Club, says that there are a lot of different factors that come into play when choosing what stocks to invest in. Whalen says some people are interested in day-to-day trading while others are more interested in a long term investment. Whalen says that young people have many advantages when it comes to investing in the stock market long term.

“Young students have the number one thing in their favor that somebody who hasn’t started investing yet doesn’t have and that is time,” Whalen said. “Statistically, history has shown that the more time you spend in the market investing, the greater returns that you’ll have. I think that students should be willing to give up the short term satisfaction of having money right now … [to] see what that [money] will look like in [the future].”

According to Siegel, investing in the stock market at a young age has impacted her future for the better. Siegel says that she wants to study economics in college.

“I think that owning stocks has helped guide what I want to do in college,” Siegel said. “When I saw that AP Economics was offered here as a course, it seemed interesting. When you’re personally connected to a subject, at least for me, it peaks my interest because I can relate to it [and] can see the impact it has on myself.”

By taking business classes at GBS, Shechtman has noticed that even business in high school is very male-dominated. Shechtman hopes that more girls like herself and Siegel will pursue careers in business in the future, or spark interest in it in high school.

“I always knew that [male-dominated business] was definitely a thing in the real world, but it’s interesting to see it present in high school,” Shechtman said. “I think it’s sad [that] these trends are showing up so early. I’d like to see some more girls join the industry because personally I’ve never understood why it was a male-dominated area. I think a lot of girls grow up with the impression that business is not for them.”

Whalen also sees the value of investing in the stock market and becoming active in the business world no matter who you are or what you do.

“I think that no matter what career path you choose you’re going to invest at some point,” Whalen said. “Whether you manage it yourself, or when you get your first job and the company’s offering you some type of retirement plan, everybody’s going to be an investor. [If] a student can learn about it and develop an interest in it, that can help them make some of  those decisions in the future.”