Advice from an authority on teen investing: Part 1 - Earn as much as you can first

Your teen years give you the opportunity to create an initial investment fund. Your first goal should be earning money to invest.

Change in jar as well as stacks of coins with plants growing out of them.

Jack Rosentahl is a 19-year-old investment expert and founder of Young Investors Club, LLC, one of the largest teen-run investment groups in the country. His grandfather opened an investing account for him at the age of 8 and he has been actively investing since he was 14 years old. With a combination of skill and luck, he has managed to generate over $20,000 in gains on his investment ventures. In his book, Teen Investing: The Ultimate Guide to Teenage Investing, he indicates there is always a risk in investing but not investing is itself a risk. 

Starting investments at an early age can reap rewards. Jack suggests that teenagers start investing with no less than $1,000 to gain experience and start learning about the intricacies of investing. He recommends for youth who want to utilize some of their investment profits as income to start with a $5,000 initial investment.

He suggests your first goal should be to focus on earning the money to invest. While his grandfather provided Jack his first seed funding for investments, he also initiated entrepreneurial endeavors at a young age to support his investments including running a vending machine and peer-to-peer lending.

In my interview with him, Jack states, “It’s not super difficult for teens to earn that kind of money.” Working a summer job at $15 to $20 an hour, it is possible to save up $1,000-$2,000 over the summer. If you set a goal to do this through all four summers of high school, you can accumulate the needed funds to develop the suggested $5,000 initial portfolio. This original investment has the potential to provide a $500 annual income. He indicates that your teen years give you the opportunity to create this original investment because you essentially have no expenses.

 According to a May 2022 article by the Wall Street Journal, many employers are struggling to find adult workers and will be depending on teens to staff their businesses as we continue to emerge from the pandemic. These conditions are shaping up to create one of the best summer job markets in years for teens. His book highlights 15 lucrative jobs/business opportunities teens can use to secure their initial investment fund. Consider checking out Michigan State University Extension 4-H Entrepreneurship’s 50+ Business Ideas for Youth to assist you in starting your investment capital now.

To learn more investment tips from Jack, plan to attend the Michigan 4-H Money Crunches Boot Camp on July 27 - 28.

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