Students investors navigate waters of stock market and crypto

Elina Bishoyi | The Chronicle

Stockbrokers and businesspeople aren’t the only ones investing a part of their paychecks for their futures.

Students in Mason High School (MHS) often get jobs or internships as a source of income while balancing their school and social life demands, however, some students are turning to the stock market and virtual investments to gain real-life experience.

Robinhood, Charles Schwab and E*Trade are some of the brokerage platforms that offer Custodial accounts for minors to invest in the stock market under the supervision of a guardian.

Junior Siva Dasaka has been investing in the stock market, cryptocurrencies, and bonds for over a year. Dasaka said that his parents supported him financially in exploring the stock market through a Custodial account on Robinhood.

“Right now it’s an experimental type of account,” Dasaka said, “As I get older, I’m probably going to put more money into it. This is just to gain experience.”

Dasaka is a founder of the MHS Eco- nomics Club, a club aimed at providing education and competition opportunities for students to learn about the way the economy works before investing in the real world.

“You need [to understand] economics to get better at investing,” Dasaka said.

“I dedicated a lot of time over the summer to learning to watch YouTube videos about day-trading and market analysis.”

Dr. Carmen Scalfaro is a teacher in the Business Department, and said he has seen the benefits of investing among his students.

“I think [investing] is one of those things you cannot start early enough,” Scalfaro said. “Once you understand com- pound interest- time is your friend. [In- vesting early] helps you to have potential more earning power. More than that, it allows you to learn from mistakes, so you can experiment, you can be aggressive and you can try things that older people can’t necessarily benefit from.”

Cryptocurrencies are a new form of investment with decentralized digital cur- rency, meaning that they tend to be more volatile than stocks or government bonds.

“It’s important to diversify,” Dasaka said. “If stocks went down and crypto went up, I don’t incur as much of a loss.”

Junior Avaneesh Konda has been invest- ing in cryptocurrencies since he was a freshmen in 2021. Konda said he took over his parent’s cryptocurrency account on an app called Uphold.

“When I first started investing, in late 2021 the crypto market crashed,” Konda said. “Bitcoin’s value dropped from around $60,000 to around $18,000 from late 2021 to early/mid 2022 and this took a huge hit on my investments but I learned a lot about the crypto market and invest- ing in general during that time period which I know will help me.”

Konda discovered cryptocurrencies after researching about the metaverse, a type of internet virtual reality. Konda said he was drawn to cryptocurrency because of its novelty and uncertain nature com- pared to traditional investing strategies.

“I thought crypto was extremely inter- esting and thought it could be the future,” Konda said. “I felt that other investments like stocks were boring because it’s more of a known area. Crypto is a much more risky and volatile market and I find that more captivating.”

As a state reporter for the Ohio Future Business Leaders of America organization, Konda said he has a passion for business and hopes to pursue it in college.

“I’ll definitely be investing for the rest of my life,” Konda said. “I find real estate really interesting and hope to plan on in- vesting in that in the future. I am mainly investing now so that 5-10 years down the line my investments could be worth a lot more.”

Scalfaro said that learning about investing money is helpful for students, regardless of their interests or intended career path.

“You do not have to be business ori- ented [to invest],” Scalfaro said. “You don’t have to be a brainiac or money driven. You can kind of set things up and just let them roll. That’s really what investing is. Investing takes time. Stay simple but every now and again, take a plunge in something that sounds a little bit more risky, because you can afford to.”