This week Bleyer Bullion presents a unique insight into a Teenage Investor in Precious Metals. His grasp of what's going on in the markets and politically may surprise you.
We at Bleyer tend to see many of you as our customers entering the Precious Metals market during retirement, at the peek of your business success, when assets are being sold and funds released or through the wealth protection of inheritance. But there is a small anomaly to this trend. And that is the tiny but unusually alert young investor who is wide awake to what is going on in the world around them - as if something instinctively kicks in during the sometimes cynical years of teenagerhood that turns into a healthy and confident questioning of the opinions played out on the world stage around them.
The team at Bleyer put together some questions so one of our team could interview one such teenage investor. The following answers are from a 14 year old young man who already owns silver and is saving to invest in gold. His interests are admittedly politics, economics and world history plus he has been raised in a family where he is fully encouraged to participate in adult conversations about current affairs around the dinner table. Safe to say he is intelligent, highly articulate and what is striking is that there are pockets of this emerging younger generation that are already investing in Physical Metals with everything from pocket money to family gifts and savings. We hope you enjoy this interview!
Bleyer: How do you earn your money or save money to buy precious metals?
Teenage Investor: I get it through doing jobs around the house like mowing the lawn, painting, garden maintenance and my favourite, washing the car inside and out. I have other jobs that I just do, like cleaning away after meals and putting out the rubbish sacks. But I don't get paid for them. My mum is strict. She pays me based on time but if I rush and don't do it well I get my pay reduced. She's always comparing it to the 'real' world, saying I wouldn't get paid to do a job for long in the adult world if I either did it badly or with a bad attitude, which kind of annoys me sometimes! I also hoover my grandparents house once a week, as they can't move their furniture anymore and they pay me to do it and say I do it really well. I also ask for money for Christmas and Birthdays instead of 'stuff' that I don't really need or want.
Bleyer: Why don't you just put it in the bank like everyone else?
Teenage Investor: Because the value of currency is going down because of inflation. (He says this as if the answer is rather obvious!) Gold and Silver are a good way to store wealth because they're 'secure' in the sense that they don't tend to decrease in 'value'. If anything, they'll go up in 'value'.
Bleyer: What do you mean by 'value'?
Teenage Investor: I mean compared to bread or petrol. Currency is just paper. It's like playing real life with Monopoly money, it's not real. It only means £10 because that's what's written on the paper note. But it's not buying you the same as it was a while ago. So that's what I mean by something losing it's value. It's not so 'useful'.
Bleyer: Do you watch the market and what else do you look at?
Teenage Investor: Yes (again he answers this question as if 'of course, doesn't everyone?' There is a naivety in his assumption that is slightly endearing.) I look at the markets on websites. I can look up prices and stuff. I looked into stocks and shares. I was briefly on the stock market, it was like a trading platform. It was called Plus 500. I didn't use any currency to learn and it was like a test account. When you sign up online the program gives you a starting £20 bonus in credit to trade. I asked my mum if I could invest in stocks and shares and she said she didn't think it was a good idea until I knew a lot more about the stock market. So I just looked up this platform online to learn. I asked my mum to let me trade more but she said no because at the time I was asking for an advance and she said that was like getting into debt. She said to learn with the credit the program had given me 'for free'. She said there is so much to know about a company, it's stock, management and international factors affecting that market, before investing that it would be good experience but that without that knowledge it is a bit like gambling. I made 200% at one point but then I lost it very quickly because I didn't know when to sell. So I'm glad I didn't lose anything of real value. And it did make me want to invest more. I had to watch it all the time. Stocks and shares are incredibly volatile and in the current economic climate they're not worth the same, they go down more than up compared as I said to 'real things' like energy or petrol, although some do benefit from the economic climate.
Bleyer: What do you friends do with their money and how do they get it?
Teenage Investor: They get it from doing jobs as well but they just put it in the bank. They might spend it on a phone or something or too many games, I know one friend who does that. In the long run it's probably not the best thing to do. I have one friend who talks a lot about Gold and Silver and how our currencies aren't related to that anymore but he doesn't yet own any I don't think. Then again I don't tell him I do, so maybe he does too! We talk a lot about empires and how many have fallen through history and what made them fall - it's usually too much currency, and the cost of war. We play Imperial Glory and Age of Empires online together even though we live close and in that game you have to instruct your empire, your workers, what to invest in, what territory to try to own strategically and how to balance you're empires food vs. gold vs. army and things like that. If you overstretch yourself your empire falls and the empires you play with are all historical and were once real! You can play against the machine as well.
Bleyer: What are you interested in, for example, hobbies?
Teenage Investor: I love free-running, you know, parkour. I do it only in a sports centre with vaults and massive air pads. I like the calculated risk and it keeps me fit and it's fun and only boys do it! I play drums, I'm in top set for all my subjects at school and am just about to start my GCSE's. I spend a lot of time watching documentaries online about international politics, current affairs, what is causing global conflicts, country cycles and economics. I'm amazed at how biased or incorrect the (mainstream) media is sometimes. I've applied for Youth Parliament but don't know if I've got it yet.
Bleyer: What would you like to do what you leave school?
Teenage Investor: Go to university to get a degree in probably something like economics and politics, I haven't fully decided yet. Then I want to live in a city because all the good jobs are there. All the big firms, international firms and it's well paid.
Bleyer: If you had more money how would you invest it?
Teenage Investor: More silver. And a bit of gold as well.
Bleyer: What do you think of the financial education offered to school children and what could schools / parents do to better prepare young people for dealing with financial responsibilities of adult life?
Teenage Investor: Not get into debt. Schools don't really talk about it in my experience although we do have some good discussions in Geography and History about cultures and currencies. My teacher once said I sounded like a financial expert. We don't have TV at home. We haven't had it since I was about five and my sister was two. We missed it for about a week. Then I found I could watch what I wanted that was more interesting. At home we talk a lot about what's going on in the world and the news and when that doesn't match up. I talk a lot at dinner time which my sister gets annoyed at. But my mum told me some stuff would happen with Russia and China to do with the economy and wars two years ago and now it's happening. She also talks about the Middle East and oil and how that's behind a lot of wars. So I want to find out how to see what's going to happen too. My mum emails me articles she thinks I'd find interesting even though she's just downstairs because she knows I'm on my computer!
Bleyer: Are you saving up for anything?
Teenage Investor: Not necessarily. But I want to have money for the future. I also want a car.
What we liked was his lack of embarrassment in wanting to learn more through trying and failing, rather than not trying at all, and his ability to think independently. If you have any questions or would like to continue the discussion, or to buy Gold, Silver, Platinum or Palladium please browse our website.
To see our latest special offers some of which may appeal to our teenage investors click here!