Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.Ad
When Facebook announced it was changing its name to Meta, David Civil’s phone blew up.
The 20-year old college student received text after text from his friends about what the metaverse is, what Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg was thinking and if it was a good time to buy the company’s stock.
Just a few weeks later, when Elon Musk said he would decide to sell 10% of his Tesla stock or not depending on the results of a Twitter poll, Civil and his friends sat around a cafeteria table at University of California, Santa Barbara discussing whether or not Musk would follow through and if he did, what the sale would do to the stock price.
Conversations like these are pretty common for Civil. He joined two finance-related clubs in college after a personal finance class in high school piqued his interest. He was the first person in his family to invest, but school clubs have been a way to gain investing skills he may not have otherwise gotten.
“Coming from a low income family, I know how hard it is to not have a ton of money and live paycheck to paycheck,” Civil says. “Knowing I have the skills to have a stable financial life is really nice.”
College investment clubs have been around for years. Some, like the Lafayette College Investment Club — which started with $3,000 in the 1940s and now manages more than $1 million dollars — involve having students run a portion of their school’s endowment with the help of faculty advisors. These clubs give students real-world, hands-on experience with investing and a glimpse into what a career on Wall Street might look like.
But nowadays, young people want to invest their own money. Like Civil, they’re talking stocks in the cafeteria, comparing the charts on their trading apps between classes and texting each other about the ups and downs of the stock and crypto markets. Student-run portfolios aren’t going by the wayside, but the popularity of investing has students forming their own groups and trading their own money.
While there’s no hard data on just how many investing clubs have sprouted up over the last several years, the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly helped transform investing from something young people assumed was for adults into a new, obsession-worthy hobby. High school and college students were kept home from classes, sports practices and after-school clubs, so many of them turned to investing to fill their time. They scoured social media for investing tips, and put their stimulus checks to work. …….