Recently, the WSJ ran a story regarding Teenagers trading GME and other Reddit-drive stocks and their parent’s concerns. I’ve also held numerous discussions with friends, parents, and colleagues on this topic in recent weeks. Personally, I’m very encouraged that so many young people are learning about investments and financial markets, a topic that is woefully undertaught in public school. It’s great to see kids debating which ETFs are best, how a short-squeeze works, doing stock research, and watching videos about Options strategies in their free time.
And yes, short-termism is a bad recipe for investing success, and perhaps today’s Reddit mania is not how you or I would ideally have our kids learning about finance – but at the end of the day, they ARE excited and learning, and learning on their own terms. And better to lose a few hundred dollars of their paper-route money now (are there even still paper routes??) AND learn something about their own psychology than learn it the hard way when Rent, a Mortgage, or Retirement is on the line. They will be so much better equipped than we were when they need to start evaluating choices for IRAs, 401Ks, 529Bs, home financing, etc.[ Per WSJ parents “worry”: It is the parents’ job to monitor their kids’ brokerage accounts – you can’t blame the 16yr-old if you let them dump all their Bar Mitzvah money into Gamestop and AMC. Many professional investors & traders have made worse mistakes without having a teenage brain! ]