What does it take to be a success? Well, Tristan Robinson, a University of Pittsburgh student, thinks the knowledge he has gained through investing has made him a success without even bothering to calculate his portfolio’s returns. He knows that this experience will lead him to much bigger financial successes in the future, given his head start managing his personal finances and developing good money management habits.
Robinson, 20, has been an active participant with the National Association of Investors Corporation (NAIC) for five years. After attending the group’s national summer Compufest conference in 2002, he became a Youth Advisor to the Computer Group Advisory Board of NAIC and has assisted with planning the Family Youth program.
Robinson’s enthusiasm for investing and personal finance increased over the next few years as did his involvement with NAIC. Next year, he will serve as the chairperson for the Family Youth program at Compufest 2006 in Las Vegas, Nev., coordinating a set of classes for teens and their parents to learn about money management and investing.
Utilizing the time value of money, Robinson invests in stocks whenever he has the financial resources, and holds them for the long term. In fact, he has yet to sell a stock he has purchased. Robinson will be the first to tell you that you don’t have to have much money to start investing. He uses the NAIC Low Cost Plan to purchase as many shares as possible with his allotted savings. By performing a stock study, using tools such as IClub Central’s Investor Advisory Service or Take $tockor other Internet sites, Robinson is able to pinpoint which stocks he feels will fit well with his investing philosophy.
He also utilizes the vast amount of resources available online to locate companies that may be good investments. Along with his experiences with NAIC, Robinson has further deepened his knowledge of investing by reading books such as Six Steps to Seven Figures by Charles Carlson. His favorite financial website is MSN Money. There are also many other financial resources available, especially from the government, such as the Federal Reserve Board. All it takes it a visit to their website to access free brochures that can be sent directly to your house!
Reminiscing, Robinson states that the favorite stock in his portfolio is actually the first stock he bought, Synovus Financial Corporation (SNV), a company that offers a variety of financial services in the U.S. and internationally. He thinks it is the epitome of a “buy and hold” stock, given that it was undervalued when he purchased it five years ago and has appreciated ever since. In fact, Synovus’s earnings have been growing more than 10 percent consistently over the past five years!
As per the state of the economy, Robinson thinks there are still plenty of opportunities for young adults to succeed in the markets, especially with using an investing strategy like his. He believes that by starting young, tuning out the pessimism often seen in the news and being smart about the stocks you choose, you have the potential to succeed greatly in investing.
After graduating from college, this young investor plans on taking up a career in corporate accounting or investor relations. On top of everything else, Robinson admits his lifelong goals are simply to be happy, successful, and financially secure. This is great advice, as investing is not necessarily a means to become Donald Trump, but rather to be able to not worry about “making ends meet” while enjoying life to the fullest.
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