The Ways We Make Money As Minors

Wall StreetMeet your Next Gen financial overlords, America. They dine on caviar and apple juice.

the three [high school students] hatched a plan to start a hedge fund. “There are a lot of steps we have to follow through,” said Patrick, calling to mind a more serious Chuck Bass. “But we’re on the right track.” They plan to launch in June, after Mo turns 18 and can get his broker-dealer license. “Mo’s our maestro,” Patrick said. “He’s going to be earning the big bucks. We’re just going to try to fill his needs.”

All three plan to attend college next year, but they’re not concerned about classes getting in the way of their goal: “A billion dollars!” Damir said. “By next year!” Mo affirmed the number with a nod. “But it’s not just about money,” he added. “We want to create a brotherhood. Like, all of us who are connected, who are in something together, who have influence, like the Koch brothers …”

“Like in Wolf of Wall Street!” Damir interjected. “And Mo is Jordan Belfort.”

“No, but, not like that,” Patrick said, blanching slightly.

The Mo to whom they refer is Mohammed Islam, a Stuyvesant High School student from Queens who became such a successful capitalist that the New York Post wrote its very first positive piece ever containing the words “Mohammed” and “Islam.” 

This all started with penny stocks.

Mo got into trading oil and gold, and his bank account grew. Though he is shy about the $72 million number, he confirmed his net worth is in the “high eight figures.” More than enough to rent an apartment in Manhattan—though his parents won’t let him live in it until he turns 18—and acquire a BMW, which he can’t drive because he doesn’t yet have a license.

I know a guy who did a version of this: he invested his Bar Mitzvah money so wisely that when he took it out, he was able to buy himself an Audi. Now he’s a hippie leftist who is married to a midwife and lives in a shared house in DC — so perhaps the fact that these guys are unironically quoting movies that are supposed to be cautionary tales suggests a bit about who they are now (young, giddy) but not that much about who they will become.

Or maybe in fifteen years they’ll have helped complete the US’s transition into an oligarchy. Who knows! Meanwhile, did you ever try penny stocks? How did you try to make money, or get rich quick, when you were a kid?

ETA: We’ve been punked. It did seem too crazy to be true and, sure enough, the boys (who are now very penitent) now admit they made it all up

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