In an effort to teach her son about investments and financial literacy, San Antonio resident Nina Carr gifted her then eight-year-old 10 shares of his favorite video game retailer: GameStop. Little did she know Jayden, now 10, would be cashing out that investment less than two years later with a more than 5,000 percent return on their initial investment.
"We were always there two years ago, just buying different video games," Carr told CNN. "I was like, 'I can give him the shares of the GameStop and give him something tangible to hold on to and that way he can appreciate it that way.'”
Thanks to a surge in the value of GameStop stock, manufactured by Redditors on r/WallStreetBets, Jaydyn sold those 10 shares for $3,200. Carr originally invested about $60 back when the brick and mortar store was selling at around $6 a share.
“All of a sudden, I heard ‘ding, ding, ding, ding, ding,’” the 31-year-old mother told the New York Times, recalling the moment she learned about the surge. “I grabbed my phone, and I was looking at it, and it said $351. I was shocked: ‘I bought this thing at $6,’ I thought, ‘there’s no way this can be right.’”
Carr originally chose GameStop because of Jaydyn’s interest in buying discounted games at the store. She gifted her son the shares in the spirit of ujamaa, one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa that highlight cooperative economics. After her husband died in 2014, she became committed to teaching her son about financial responsibility.
“In the African American community, that’s a huge gap that I wanted to fill in,” Carr said. “He’s all I have left, he’s my legacy. I wish more parents would do it. I think it would definitely interrupt a debt cycle to teach your kids about financial responsibility.”
The price of GameStop stock shot up more than 1,500 percent after being targeted by a group of anti-Wall Street investors on Reddit. Users on the r/WallStreetBets forum went on a buying spree that is screwing over hedge fund short-stock sellers who had invested in GameStop’s decline.
After getting notifications about the rising stock price, Carr pulled Jaydyn out of virtual class and asked what he wanted to do with his investment. The 10-year-old trader decided to sell, saving $2,200 with plans to invest the remaining $1,000 in shares of the multiplayer game Roblox if it goes public.
"I wanted to sell it then and there because I knew it could drop in seconds," Jaydyn said. “Long-term investing is important because that is how I got this money.”
The circumstances have kindled the fifth grader’s interest in day trading.
“He’s definitely ready to jump full force into the market,” Carr said. “Anything can happen to me...I just want him to make sure he understands the ways of life even when I’m not here.”
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