It’s Best to Invest

Senior discusses opportunities to make money in stock market

Stephanie Kontopanos, Assistant Editor

With investing being easier and cheaper than ever, it’s no surprise that there’s been a rise in the number of people putting money into the stock market.

During Covid, senior George Perkins took advantage of this opportunity.

“I saw the crash in 2020 and how the stock market really was in a bad place,” Perkins said. “[I] saw it as a great opportunity to get invested. I saw the long vision and the benefits of doing it. I wanted to get involved.”

The most valuable learning tool Perkins found was hands-on and interactive.

“Before I got invested, I did paper trading,” Perkins said. “You invest with fake money, but it still reflects the real market. That’s something I encourage people to do if they’re worried about putting real money up. I think [it] is beneficial to gain experience and figure out what you’re doing before you hop into it.”

Currently, Perkins is investing in some stocks he feels confident in.

“I’m invested in ETFs, which are electronically traded funds and index funds,” Perkins said. “You get a wide basket of the market as a whole. If you have an S&P 500, you get a bit of the top 500 companies in the country. It’s easier to do instead of picking and choosing different companies, which could flop or bust.”

Perkins also put his money into crypto, an investment choice more people are beginning to make. By investing in many, less popular cryptos, his return on investment may be lower — but so is the risk.

“I’ve invested in Aetherium, Solana Cardano and Polka Dot,” Perkins said. “I don’t have much money in them compared to stocks. Crypto is a really exciting thing, but it’s also extremely volatile. It’s something to have more fun with than bank on your entire savings.”

Staying informed on world events is also valuable to Perkins, as those can impact the state of the economy.

“This Russia-Ukraine conflict made the stock market extremely volatile when it first came out,” he said. “The stock market will maybe overreact when some news comes out. It went down when Russia started invading Ukraine. People were worried. A few days later, it came up, which was good to see people thinking they’re going to get through the conflict.”

Similarly, the pandemic led to a crash in the market, and Perkins has found it easier to predict what the economy will do.

“With Covid, the stock market was just atrocious — it collapsed,” he said. “The second half of 2020 ended up being extremely good, and all of 2021 was beneficial. You often see this huge collapse, people kind of calm down a bit and then expansion and recovery starts to happen.”

Perkins also reflected on events in which finance and pop culture intersect, such as with the GameStop stock surge in January 2021.

“It was not that great of a company,” Perkins said. “Their stores weren’t doing too well. The big hedge funds were seeing this and they’re like, ‘The stock is going to go down. We don’t see any value in it, so we’re going to short it,’ which means they’re betting on the price to go down.”

However, in a turn of events, people on social media went against the predictions.

“People on Reddit — the r/ WallStreetBets community — they’re like, ‘All these hedge funds are doing this. Let’s combine and revolt against them.’ They all bought the stock and squeezed the short-sellers. Then the price shot up to hundreds of dollars on GameStop. People made a ton of money. I thought it was a pretty cool concept — it was basically a middle finger to the big hedge funds that control the market.”

Through the Internet, a trend of “finance bros” has found its roots. Perkins finds that he’ll “probably” fit into this stereotype as he ages.

“Finance bro culture is real — the typical Patagonia vest with khakis,” Per- kins said. “It feels like every guy goes to major [in] business and then they want to do finance. That’s probably what I’m gonna do. I very well could end up as a finance bro.”

While many beginner investors get hung up on specifics, Perkins warns against that.

“Just get started,” he said. “Get involved because you’re missing out if you don’t. If you keep it in for years, you’re gonna end up profitable.”

Resource Recommendations

“I like to go to Yahoo Finance. I think it’s a really reliable site that compiles a lot of good sources that you can get from different websites.”

“Things like the Wall Street Journal [and] CNBC [have] a lot of good articles, especially for the stock market and cryptocurrencies.”

“If you follow the right people on Twitter, I think that’s the best base for crypto. I follow @TheMotleyFool — they talk about the market overall. @StockTalkWeekly [does] weekly Twitter spaces where you can listen to people talking about the market.”