Many students aim for a career in finance but Aryaansh is already experiencing it. The 15-year-old from Dubai has worked at JP Morgan, developed an algorithm to trade foreign currencies and trades on behalf of his friends.
In this podcast episode, Aryaansh shares how he got the internship while in Year 10, the books he read to get started in the stock market and what his views are on stories like Gamestop and crytocurrencies. Aryaansh welcomes listeners to connect with him on LinkedIn.
Podcast Host 00:04
I'm your host, Alex Cork. And today I chat with 15 year old Dubai student, Aryaansh. Aryaansh has just recently completed a three month internship at one of the world's biggest banks, JP Morgan. We chat about how we got the internship, his views on Gamestop and cryptocurrencies, and what students can do in high school to get a head start on a career in finance. Let's chat with Aryaansh. Hi Aryaansh, welcome to the Top of the Class podcast, it is awesome to have you on the show. Can you tell our listeners a little bit about yourself?
Good afternoon, Alex. Thanks for having me on. So I'm 15 years old, and I am a Year 10 student in Dubai. And basically, you know, for the last year or so I've been building my entire life around finance and entrepreneurship. And basically, it's using, you know, the intersection of these two worlds to explore myself a little more. And I've been working on a bunch of side projects that not only benefit me, but benefit those around me. And I think it's really awesome, you know that I can create things that have a real world impact on people close to me.
Podcast Host 01:21
Perfect. Well, just to give people a bit of context here, I actually connected with you on LinkedIn. And I played a little bit of a game with my oldest brother. And it was guest the age of the person who is posting this content. And it was one of your posts regarding financial Bitcoin, whatever it is, like you do some really impressive posts on LinkedIn. And my brother had a rate of it. And he was like, oh, Jason, pretty good analysis here. I'm going to get this person's like late 20s, early 30s. I'm like, 'he's 15!'. And my brother was like, 'Oh, my God, that's crazy'. And then, you know, setting up the interview, I said, oh, what's your email? And your email Is that one finance nerd, right? So when you say you're basing your life around finance and entrepreneurship, you really do mean it. Why finance and entrepreneurship, what really drew you to getting so involved in the world of finance?
It was practically a stroke of luck. So two years back, you know, we had an email pop up in our school email inbox, and it was regarding the stock market challenge. And you know, at that time, I knew nothing about the stock market, I just knew was reserved for rich people. So I decided to sign up. And we were given $100,000, of initial capital to invest as we clicked. And, you know, I was like, Oh, my God, $100,000. That's a lot of money. So I just had to play around a little bit, you know, investing in names I knew. And you know, this was all virtual. So it gave me a good flavor of the markets. And then, yeah, I think he was really the adrenaline that you see, whenever the stock tickers jump up or down, or, you know, the fact that you can do your own analysis on the market. And that can actually affect how well you do. I think that's what really drew me to it. And then I realized, wait a minute, this finance thing seems kind of fun. So I contacted one of my family members, who's a fund manager at fidelity. And he basically set me up with a bunch of books to read. So one thing really about me is that I love to learn, as in, you know, read a book article podcast, I love to take in information, whenever I'm not doing something. So you know, it gave me a bunch of books to kind of keep me busy. And you know, once I read them, I kind of got really more intrigued into, you know, not only stock market, but how there is a certain code to making money, and there's a certain code to how the world works. And it all revolves around this concept of money. And it's just like, how you manage it, and how the world manages it. And I think that really intrigues me towards, you know, something to do with economics and finance as a career.
Podcast Host 03:50
In terms of the books that you were recommended, what kind of books were they? And are there any titles that you recall, and said, like that one that really made a difference for me.
So you know, whenever you search out how to invest in the stock market, you keep getting hit by these three names, the Intelligent Investor, and there's a few others, but but I think they're amazing reads. So I got recommended a bunch of books by this investor called Peter Lynch. And he actually managed, you know, Fidelity Investments Magellan fund, and he had one of the best track records as a fund manager. And I found that really interesting. So I was, like, you know, quite a lot to learn. So, the two books that I feel always have, you know, helped me learn the most, one up on Wall Street and beating the street. So big link to wall street there. However, I think it's very interesting because, you know, once you look into the mindset of someone who has, you know, in the auto of these market cycles, you know, the stock market dips, big stock market corrections. It's really interesting to see that, you know, these people don't invest, you know, like the other shopping spree. It's, you know, very careful. They do their analysis very well. And each of them has a very eccentric style of investing. And I think what's really cool is that, you know, you can invite these qualities into yourself. And then Apart from that, I think, you know, the internet's been amazingly helpful to me, in terms of, you know, actually inhaling this content. So there have been these awesome courses and podcasts that I've been listening to, that just helped me get a good flavor of how you know, the financial world is moving.
Podcast Host 05:26
Okay, so you're enjoying the motivation that you got from the game that you played. And just to be clear, that was like $100,000, pretend money, not real money. And, and, for me, I played a similar game when I was in high school as well. But like, I didn't go on with it, because I think I got kind of bored looking at the numbers, and it just seemed to go up and down. And I didn't really know too much about the work that you could put in to make a more informed choice. And it sounds like for you that that's the kind of switch that made you more interested in the investing side of things. Like, once you start knowing that the more analysis you put in, the better your choices are going to be. And the more apps you'll get the downs, is that the kind of like game that you're playing, that you're kind of trying to, I guess, learn so much that you can outsmart the stock market? I mean, Well, technically,
yes. Like, you know, the short story is, yes. However, the long story is that, you know, it's like, you know, the house always wins kind of thing. So what I've been trying to do is trying to find companies and trying to find, you know, opportunities that I can quickly make use of as a needle trading on momentum. So, you know, let's say a company is coming out with brilliant earnings, what I do is I buy the stock, and I just wait two weeks for the earnings kind of frenzy to pass, and then I'd sell the stock, because brilliant earnings means that people are gonna, you know, believe that the company is gonna make more money going out, and that was the stocks gonna go up. So it's just, you know, instances like these event based investing,
Podcast Host 06:57
Now, a lot of people would say, you need to have money to make money. So if you don't mind me asking, Where did you find the money originally to start investing in the stock market?
So actually, originally, it wasn't my own money. So I pulled together a bunch of friends. And we decided to set up a signals group. And how signals group works is that, you know, one person sitting there, and He's the owner of the group. And what he does is he independently does his own stock analysis. And maybe, you know, he looks for a bunch of stock charts, and comes up with a bunch of trade ideas. And these trade ideas are ones that he would use himself to make himself money. So what he does is, he goes to the bunch of people in his signals group, and he just gives them the trade idea for a small fee. And it's these small fees, or these small commissions that slowly add up and end up you know, profiting him as well.
Podcast Host 07:45
Were you the signals guy?
Yes, with the three, four of my friends. And then obviously, I transitioned to working on a bigger project with a few other people.
Podcast Host 07:54
So you're like the guy giving out the stock tips for a fee, Yahoo consultant in a way, like a new financial consultant, and so your clients were other students?
Other students, Yes,
Podcast Host 08:08
So just within your school, or from the wider Dubai area?
Oh, no, just within my school.
Podcast Host 08:12
Okay. So like, you've got a uni level, that's pretty keen on stock investing, or they're keen on it, if they know someone else is going to do the work for them?
Precisely. I mean, if that's the kind of thing, you're taking all of this stress on their shoulders, and it went really well, you know, the good thing is they will my friends. So you know, there was a degree of understanding between us, but it was really interesting to see, you know, people are refreshing their stock screens every two seconds reacting to little dips, little gains. And, you know, I found it pretty interesting, just to see as in not only from a psychological thing, but from behavioral thing as in, you know, how people respond to making money.
Podcast Host 08:48
Yeah. Now, you don't have to give all your tricks right now. But what are some of the strategies that you like to use, when you're investing in the stock market? I know a lot of people are more like the buy the the solid stocks, hold them for, you know, 10 plus years, and then save them appreciate over that length of time. But I guess when you're 15 years old, you don't really want to be thinking 10 years ahead. So what are some of your strategies for that shorter term investments.
So, you know, I'm really glad that you brought this point up. And I'm not going to get I'm not going to get very technical with this. But you can get a little technical,
Podcast Host 09:23
You can get a little technical, don't be afraid to flex your knowledge a bit.
So this these indicators, this indicator called the relative strength index, and it basically shows buying momentum versus selling momentum of a stock. And it condenses all that information into this really nice number. And you can use this number to do a lot of things. So there's basically two barriers really, there's an A so you know, ranges from zero to 100. And once it gets to 20, that basically means there's been so much selling pressure on the stock that is bound to go up. And once it gets to 80 there's so much buying pressure on it that it's about to go down. So obviously it's just it's just a Nice indicator of how whether stocks can be moving in the short term, then along with this, what I've done is I've been developing algorithm. So how it works is, you know, you can call it high frequency trading HFT. And how it works is the algorithm buys and sells stocks much, much faster than your I could, as in you know, you know, let's say it spots a certain price discrepancy from one market to another. And what it does is it buys a stock from one sells it at another. And that's called arbitrage. Another thing that this robot does is Well, I mean, I had to develop it myself. And another thing it does is, you know, it gathers insider information. So as an information from people inside the company, and basically sees their stock buying patterns. And, you know, I there's a bunch of math formulas involved. But how it works is it condenses all of this activity. And once again, it puts it into a nice number. And that gives me like an insider sentiment or an insider confidence rating of a stock. And you know, based on this insider confidence rating, I decide whether to buy or sell, because you know, it's the people inside the company that know best about what's happening with the company. Then there's this other technical kind of analysis to dive that a friend of mine and I developed called Brownian motion. And Brownian motion is actually the random movement of particles. So we just leave it like that, because we thought it'd be funny. But how it works is there's a bunch of moving averages and moving averages are basically smoothed out averages of the way a stock price is looking. And we use these averages to find out things called support and resistance levels. And a support level is basically a price level at which the stock just won't go down. As in, you know, once it gets to that price, it is just too cheap for people not to buy. And the same way a resistance level is, you know, a price high enough that people like okay, this is too expensive is going to go down. So you know, we use that kind of we use these technicals to just get a good idea of where stocks gonna be in the next week or so.
Podcast Host 11:58
Now, couple of questions. I love what you're doing. I think that's awesome. The algorithm to buy and sell quickly, the high frequency trading, is there not a brokerage cost on those kinds of things. I'm kind of like half asking for myself here Havasu for our listeners, of course. But you know, like for people who have invested before, usually, like if you invest with a bank or something like that, like you invest through a bank, I should say, you pay like a fairly high brokerage costs on any trade. So that's like to even make the trade. They'll say, well, you got to pay us 30 bucks just to make the trade whatever it is. And is that something that comes up in age of tea? Or are you how are you doing it?
So one thing that I really like to outline here is that for the last two, three years, we've seen brokerages like Robin Hood, on the rise, and they offer commission free investing as zero commissions to buy or sell stocks, you can buy as much as you want. They don't charge you anything. And I think you know, how it works is and these commission free brokerages basically have the potential to wipe out all of the traditional brokerages that charge you pretty hefty fees on buying or selling stocks. Think about it, you know, the average person isn't ready to pay a $30 Commission on a $50 stock. Because that's just exorbitant. And I think you know, what's really interesting is how the rise of Robin Hood and the actual kind of gamification of investing, let's call it that has really led to the whole GameStop saga that we've seen happening over the past month. So when I use my HFT bot, I don't trade it on stocks, I trade, foreign exchange. So foreign exchange is currencies, how many euros can I get for $1? How many Swiss francs can I get for a Euro? That kind of thing.
Podcast Host 13:39
Right. Okay, and is that performing? Well, because I'm going to guess that that's not the first algorithm out there that is trying to predict foreign currency exchange rates and how to make you know that arbitrage that difference on each trade, like I'm going to guess there's a lot of maths involved. And there'd be some people developing like really good ones. And some people developing not so good ones how's yours doing?
Mines doing pretty well. I mean, the purposes that mine serves a really short term. And, you know, obviously, I don't have the infrastructure to make it a massive operation. And I need to do I plan to because the truth is that, you know, you've got these massive investment banks, massive trading firms, you know, that can execute at speeds you literally can't imagine. So there's this really nice book I read called flash boys, and basically a firm paid, I think it was excess of $50 million to lay fiber optic cable straight through mountain instead of taking the obvious route that was right around it. And you know, it's this so there's like a difference, you know, a 1.5 millisecond difference color should be what changes between $10 million dollars and $1 million. And I think, you know, that kind of speed. us any individual person like me just could never match up to
Podcast Host 14:55
Okay, but it's still a pretty cool thing that you'll be paying years old and have to go The narrow rhythm to trade foreign currencies? And where did you learn to create an algorithm like that? Is it something that you learned on YouTube through computer science courses? Like, how do you go about that?
So one beautiful thing about 2021 is that you can get any information you want for absolutely no cost via the internet, it's just that you've got to know where to look. And what I did was, you know, I started with some really basic courses on Python. And Python is the language that I use for majority of my algorithm writing and execution. And basically, most of this was done by YouTube courses. And via, you know, individual boot camps that were done for free. I didn't spend anything on learning how to make these robots. It's all a result of researching on the internet and reading as much as I can. Talking to a bunch of people in the industry is always helpful, I'd say. And LinkedIn is an amazing tool for this. So I'd say harness like it was just a combination of three of those would be, it'll go a long way to fortifying your skills there.
Podcast Host 16:01
Yeah. So Python, and then I guess, knowing what you want the bot to do, right? Or what you want the algorithm to do, and then plugging it into your computer, right, so it can recognize the the movements going up and down and making those trades. That's pretty awesome. I think that's pretty cool. And then you've got the the Brownian motion, right. And with that, I'm going to guess that, you know, the the random movements of particles, as you said, the whole GameStop thing, as you said, was like a pretty crazy thing for people in the game of stock markets would have been a bit surprised by that, because it pretty much threw out all the rule books, can you sum up GameStop situation in an easy to understand way?
Okay, so let's start with this really nice monkey analogy. So you know, let's say, I'm a monkey, and I have a banana. And the banana right now is priced at $10. And, you know, at the end of the day, the banana is still a banana, however, I feel that the price, the value of the banana is going to go down. So what I do is, you know, I go to my good buddy, Alex, and I asked to borrow, you know, a banana that he has, and I immediately sell it on the market. And now I'm holding $10. So you know, say two months past, and the actual value of that banana has decreased to $1. So what I do is, I buy the banana back from those $10 that I got when I initially sold the banana, and I returned the banana back to Alex. So Alex has what he gave me in the first place, and I have a nice profit margin of $9. Right. So this is how shorting a stock works and how, you know, it's basically boring shares, immediately selling them and buying them back later for cheap. And that's, you know, what are key principles you need to understand when realizing, you know, what happened with GameStop. So GameStop is a physical concrete video game retailer, and you know, the COVID pandemic killed, like quite literally kill them. So a lot of hedge funds gotta be good idea to short the stock, that basically means they borrow shares that are really expensive right now, but are going to decline in value, because the companies are going to be making any money. So they borrow the shares. So they borrow the shares, and they immediately sell them. And now they're holding this money, and they want to buy it back later, at a really cheap price. So they started shorting so many shares, that at one point, they somehow exploited a bunch of loopholes, and they manage to borrow shares that did not exist, which is illegal. So a bunch of people on Reddit decided it would be a good idea to try to squeeze these investors. So let's get back to the banana analogy. Now, you know, say I'm holding this banana, and suddenly, the price goes up to $20. Now, suddenly, that's a problem for me, because now I have to buy the banana back for much, much more than I paid for it. And that way, it's going to benefit Alex, because he's holding something that is now worth double what it originally was. And if you recall, I have to buy the banana back. And it's like supply and demand. If I buy more, the price is going to go up, because producers feel that they can sell more. And that's what happened in GameStop. So lots of people tried to buy the stock, and the stock price went up and the hedge funds were like, Oh, no, I'm losing money. And they had to buy back more shares. And they kept on buying it, they kept on buying. And the price slowly went from, you know, a low of like, $2.50 to I think its peak was $483. So you know, it was really crazy.
Podcast Host 19:22
What does that tell you about the future of trading? And like the future of algorithms that are used to predict the stock market? Can people still use those kind of algorithms? Can people use kind of old school analysis to predict something like this? Or is this I think, throughout the rule book, in many ways, because a lot of people were saying that no one could have predicted this. It was purely like a user Reddit based kind of revolt of the people rising up against the hedge fund managers.
Absolutely. And I think I think you know, that's one really important thing to note here is that we saw the revolution, not only in the way that people invest, but in the way that you know how the market is rigged to benefit the wealthy people, as in, you know, these hedge fund guys, they somehow managed to borrow shares that didn't even exist. And you know, that obviously infuriated a lot of people who are, you know, surviving off of stimulus checks kind of thing. And I think, you know, actually, one interesting thing to note here is that the HFT bots, the frequency trading bots, ended up making a lot lot more money, just because of the fact that the stock was so volatile. And since these guys trade very, very short term, as in, you know, the luxury they have is that they can put a million dollars in stock, when it's at $1, and take it up when it's at $1.01 and have a $10,000 profit. But a normal investor just can't do that normally, investor doesn't have the money, a normal investor doesn't have the time, and doesn't have the speed to keep watching that trend. And, you know, I think what it's done is it's really shaken up the notion that the stock market is reserved for people, you know, with massive pools of money, and I think it's gonna attract a lot more people. However, one thing that I'm really thinking about is that there are going to be people who, you know, like the hedge fund managers, they have a lot of money to invest, but an individual investor, he has to invest, say, his daughter's college fund. And if that goes upside, that could obviously not be very good for him. So it's just your nuances like that, that I think will end up obviously, being a bad political guy.
Podcast Host 21:29
Yeah, I remember seeing a great quote, actually, that said, the fee of missing out the FOMO of missing the boat on the next big, you know, GameStop, the next Bitcoin, the next Apple, the next, you know, whatever, the FOMO around, that is a greater driver for people to enter the stock market, then the risk of losing money, the main risk is missing out, not losing money, which is a weird way of thinking about it. But I think at the moment, there's probably more stories of the rocket ship to the moon type of stuff, like desktop, and Bitcoin and people making millions off the market, which is bringing all these people to the stock market and to kryptos and whatnot. I'm gonna throw another one out there, actually Dogecoin which has been absolutely, like Dogecoin has gone up like 1000s and 1000s of percent. And for people who follow Elon Musk on Twitter and have been asking themselves, like, what the hell is he tweeting about when he keeps talking about Dogecoin and whatnot, he's talking about crypto. And you know, people have made millions of dollars off this crypto not too many, but a couple people have made millions of dollars off this crypto. And it was really just it felt like a crypto based on a community but it didn't really serve any purpose as far as I can. Exactly. It was purely just like by Dogecoin to be a part of this stupid major type of thing.
Like exactly that all about. So you know, the actual cryptocurrency was made because of a meme that came around, and it was about this Doge dog. I'm pretty sure you've seen the face. The Shiba Inu. Yes. Yep. It's that it's someone made it this and you know, anyone can virtually set up their own cryptocurrency so someone was like, might as well do it. Dogecoin is a thing now. And you know, this happened, I think seven years back. So this is when crypto was really fledgling. And, you know, everything was really new. Someone was like, might as well make it as a joke. And, you know, that's how it had been ever since. But then GameStop happened and people were like, Okay, I'm trying to find some more assets. I can YOLO my money are in YOLO. You only live once. So you know, take a lot of risk on it and just go all in. So someone was like, oh, Dogecoin and Elon Musk. He's, you know, kind of, he tries to keep up with the trend. You know, he's post memes on his Twitter account. He's just really active that in that kind of sense. So what he decided to do was, he decided to post a single tweet that said much Wow, and uch who W and, you know, the Shiba Inu meme was that it speaks you know, really broken English. And, and, you know, Elon tweeted and I was like, Oh, no, Dogecoin And on that day, the price went up, I think 270% and, you know, you've got people you know, who've just put a $5,000 in this a while back thinking I might as well as it's just just as a joke. And you know, they come back and it just blew their investments balloon.
Podcast Host 24:25
You know what I got on that as well. I was like, after GameStop I realized that the stock market has so many who is not willing to do the analysis, not willing to put in the work and just want to be on the next rocket ship to the moon. And when Ilan Musk is championing this dough coin and then Snoop Dogg and like all these other celebrities and stuff getting getting on board as well. I thought, you know what, I didn't put in too much money, but I've put in just enough to make it interesting. You know, it's one of those funny, it's a really funny time to be an investor. It definitely feels very much removed from The days of like, you know, Warren Buffett going to the store and trying things out and, you know, going through the analysis and looking at the costs and that kind of thing, it seems like a more fun way to invest. But in your view, is it a good strategy to be investing in fun things, or is long term profits going to come from from putting in the work?
I think what we saw right now, I had a really good conversation with someone on LinkedIn the other day, and they said, you know, retail investors have made a mockery of the public markets. And I agree with that statement. To an extent, this is the first thing we've ever seen of this style, individual investors trading the stock market. However, I still feel that it is not a good thing in the long run, because, you know, these are people who are putting money and change their lives into investments. And what I feel that's going to contribute to is, you know, if they lose that money, what now, right? And, you know, these people on very educational the risks of what could happen if their investments, you know, go the other way, and they're in it for the joke, and what now, but literally, so I think I think, you know, people have had that fun, but I really think it's time to move on. Because the house always wins, there is always going to be someone who has more information than someone who is faster than you someone who has more experienced than you. And it's the same thing in the stock market. And what people don't realize is that it's that it's these little advantages that add up. And I think, you know, it's all gonna come tumbling down, you know, we've been like pumping this balloon to its very limit. So I have a feeling, you know, it's quite like a bubble right now. You know, you've got electric vehicle stocks going all the way. And, you know, we actually saw it a while back tech stocks had their worst day, I think, for the last 100 days, the US Treasury bonds hiked their prices up by, you know, obviously very high price. It was like 50 basis points in one day, and people got really scared, and tech stocks, took it on the chin. And, you know, it's this kind of cascade, really, that I think can not only shake up the financial sector as is, but could shake up people's lives.
Podcast Host 27:11
Yeah, now you've made entering the stock market or any kind of investing sound, I guess, a bit more realistic in the view that it is a bit riskier than a lot of people think that it's not necessarily a joke. And, you know, you've got to take this kind of seriously. So for students who are listening, and who perhaps have an interest in the stock market, but don't have any money in it yet, what should they do? Or what questions should they be asking themselves? What reading should they be doing? before they start putting money in the direction of the stock market and hoping for the best?
That's actually really good question. And one thing I'd really like to outline is only invest as much as you're able to lose. So you know, invest as much money as if you lost it the next day as if it evaporated, you'll be perfectly fine with it, it wouldn't have any impact on your life. And I think that's key to understanding how it's not good to get emotionally attached to the stuff you investigate, because price fluctuations happen all the time. And it is definitely not going to help if you're the one refreshing the screen every two seconds, and you know, start crying or start celebrating over little dips in the price. So what I'd really like to think about, everyone listening to think about is, if you're investing in something, only invest in something you can understand. So Peter Lynch, actually the first book I ever read one up on Wall Street, he said, you know, if you cannot explain the idea of the business to a five year old, don't invest in it, they have this company with, you know, a bunch of axes in their name. And it's like x laboratories, and they produced wafer silicone chips for micro optical scanning, you know, really complicated stuff. But if you don't understand the product at its core, you shouldn't go there. You know, which is why, like you said, as well, you know, you'd hold on to a good stock for 10 years, and wait for it to pay its dividends, which would appreciate over the time. And I think that strategy, like it or not, that kind of strategy always wins. And it's like, you know, not to listen to your emotions too much, because there was this good post I saw on Wall Street bets as well. The most important stock you have is your brain, and don't let it fall apart due to a gambling addiction. And, you know, once you see all of this, you know, theoretical money pop up on the screen, once the stock prices go up, you know, you get happy and once it goes down, you get sad. And I think if you've given to your emotions too much, that can kind of don't need to investments just getting derailed, but your life as a whole.
Podcast Host 29:34
That's some really good advice. And I always say to students, like if you're going to be learning about anything, learn about investing, because it's a skill you should have for the rest of your life. You're not going to make your fortune. Well, the majority of people are not going to make their fortune through a job. They're going to make their fortune through investing or like owning a business, potentially a property, whatever it might be, but you're never too young to start investing, which leads me to shift gears a little bit towards combining the two investing and getting a job, you have an internship at JP Morgan, which will be a surprise for a lot of people who would have thought that it's probably, you know, more of like a university level thing to be getting an internship with, you know, one of the biggest banks in the world, can you talk us through how a year 1015 year old landed a internship at JP Morgan.
Um, so actually, you know, it was just a stroke of pure chance, you know, I was scrolling through this kind of repository that I have of articles and links, to internships to job placements. And then I came across the JP Morgan careers website, and I was like, you might as well click on it, explore what it is. So the good thing about JP Morgan's website is that it is laid out much, much better, and they have many more options to offer, then I'm sure that I'm pretty sure any of the other ones, any of the other investment banks or firms, and, you know, they've got really four classes of internship. And of these, I think a two of them are available to high schoolers. And you know, there's like an internship and a pre internship. And so I decided to apply. And, you know, it's a fairly straightforward process, there was this really nice terminal, I filled in my stuff 100 in my resume. And, you know, that was it, then I had done I had to do this thing called a plyometrics test, which is really like an IQ test in the form of a small video game. That was that was interesting, but I had to keep tapping my spacebar a lot. And you know, that was really it. So I think what really stood out about my application as a whole was the fact that I should like not only an interest in finance, but as in, you know, I had taken stuff to feel that interest, as in, you know, I'd set up a fund with my friends, I'd read a little, you know, I'd worked on a little project about financial awareness, that kind of thing.
Podcast Host 31:51
Right. And so what did it involve? What were you doing?
So, so what I've been basically doing for the majority of this is learning how to make financial models. And I think I'm very sure in investment banking, it's a very big thing, you know, because investment banking involves, you know, making deals happen. So, you know, when you get to a business, there's three financial statements, you got to think about, there's an income statement, balance sheet, and a cash flow forecast. And what I've been learning is how to, you know, make the very best of these models. And, you know, there's things called leveraged buyouts. And basically, it's a lot of financial modeling. And actually, over this internship, I learned how to use Excel without a mouse. So that was really the one of the highlights of the entire thing. And yeah, and so Apart from that, I learned a lot more about the trading desks here. And so JPMorgan has an HFT segment. And, you know, what they've been doing is high frequency trading, like I said, trading really seconds. And, you know, I sat down, we were thinking about strategy with a bunch of the people there. And it was very interesting, you know, thinking about what stocks kind of be look for what kind of features they capitalize on, when they are trying to do high frequency trading.
Podcast Host 33:01
Right. And you said, one of the big highlights was learning how to use Excel without a mask. I know that there's like a heap of shortcuts. And I know as well that like, people might think, well, that's pretty lame thing to learn from an internship at JP Morgan. But being really good at Excel, and being really good at financial modeling is like a huge part of what a lot of financial analysts need to do. So how is your kind of skill set in that area gone from from like, fairly introductory to, you know, would you say intermediate? Or where do you think you rank yourself against other financial analysts at this point.
So from what I've heard, from talking to people in the industry, you know, you start out as an analyst role, like you said, and analysts basically get off the ground work passed down to them. And you know, this involves quite a lot of number crunching. And I'd say, you know, my skills really scrappy with Excel, because this because I never used Excel for anything other than, you know, maybe creating a calendar, which is a very limited use case. And, you know, what I found is, there is just so much stuff you can do with Excel. But now, I mean, I always have an Excel tab open for whenever I need to do a little bit of quick maths. And it's just amazing. And there's this really nice means about how the whole world's banking system relies on Microsoft Excel. And you know, just that's how pavlidis use cases, you know, you've got whole companies pulling their balance sheets, putting their financial information onto this one piece of software. And the beautiful thing is the numbers tell a story of that. And I'd say my skill sets gone from, you know, Fanny rusty, to pretty good. I mean, I I mean, the keyboards on it.
Podcast Host 34:35
Yeah, exactly. Which is a real test of a good Excel user. And after doing the JP Morgan internship, what kind of doors Do you feel that's open for you, in terms of like your notoriety among your peers as like that one financial nerd to the wider LinkedIn world? Do you feel like it's given you a leg up in that area because you can put JP Morgan on your LinkedIn profile and people know Are you for that?
I definitely say that does, you know, it's like, the name just got a brand to it. And just having the experiences that I've, you know, gone through the work that I've done, it's really interesting to see how a big thumb handles work. I mean, if I was a university and undergraduate student, you know, if I did good, I'd probably get offered a full time some analyst role that, you know, I obviously wouldn't get paid for, but I'm not coming yet. So I tend, you know, when I talk to my friends as well, it's really interesting to hear about their opinions on a big tank like that. And you said it very well, your notoriety amongst my peers. So I mean, that really is just amazing interacting with people in the industry, working alongside them, shadowing them, users understanding how their thought process is because these people have gone to the very best of schools excel at the very best of what they do. And I think it's been an amazing learning experience. And I'd say, in terms of opening up doors, I mean, I fully understand just how a company's got to tell its story through its numbers.
Podcast Host 36:04
Of course, you know, you've been putting in all those numbers in Excel spreadsheets for the last couple of months. So it's good that you've had that opportunity, after the three month experience, are you more committed or less committed, or the same to your future in financing?
So I think I am much, much more committed. I mean, you know, obviously, the trading part of it is one thing. But I think what's essential, as well as understanding these companies at their core, and I found this kind of experience to be like, an eye opener to things like that, I would definitely, you know, be 100% interested in a salon and still have, like, you know, a big bag. And I find that, you know, it's helped me a lot in understanding just how the world works.
Podcast Host 36:47
Yeah, exactly. And in terms of where you want to go in university, like where do you see yourself studying? What do you see yourself studying? Like, Is there much benefit to studying when you are already creating algorithms and doing all this kind of stuff in the 10th?
I'm so actually, I really want to do this quantitative finance was at the Washington University for my undergraduate I've been looking at like so my top choice schools, all the ivy League's most of the ivy League's. And that's why I really aspire to be and just forming these kind of bonds from these relationships with people is really important. And then obviously, I'm sure that the experience you get and you know, obviously, a top tier University, learning the things that you love doing would be much, much different from you know, you tried to self teach yourself.
Podcast Host 37:36
Yeah, absolutely. My my general impression is that classes like economics is not necessarily the place to learn about the stock market. Am I right in saying that?
I absolutely agree with that economics is, I'd say, the language of how people work. It's like, the good thing about economics is it combines, you know, how people react to things that happen in the market that they end to get onto the internet, the laptop that you've bought, that, you know, you've gone to market transacted for that, you know, you think about what to buy on Amazon? What impacts those decisions? You know, that's, that's, that's really more of a behavioral thing, which I think, you know, it's it's really poetic, really, how economics is this one language encompasses all of it? And it's like, you know, perfectly sound explanation, but everything anyone does,
Podcast Host 38:25
Yes, well, that's what they try and do, I guess, in the rational economic style of being rational thinking, not always exactly the case, when you have something like GameStop coming along, which is kind of flew in the face of all economic theory. But do you have any final advice for students who are perhaps aiming for a career in finance, banking, that kind of thing,
I'd say, you know, the biggest thing you got to remember is that your brain is, you know, the best asset you could ever possibly have. So I'd say, invest more time on yourself, because that's going to ultimately lead to better investments for you. So you know, the books you read, the more courses you do, the more podcasts you listen to, the more people you talk to just just everything, you know, it's no steps, you know, you might read a book, and then just not think about it for the next week. But that book is going to change your outlook on something. And all of these little things, I'd say they add up and they add up and they go exponentially. So you know, I tried to do this, as well as in I tried to read a lot, read an interesting article, or like a book about a topic. I tried to take knowledge in and try to make the best use of that knowledge. And apart from that, I'd say, harness your social networks. And by social networks, I mean, LinkedIn. So, you know, a bunch of the projects I've been working on, I have met people, certainly entrepreneurship bug me, you know, eight, nine months back, it'd be locked down. And the only way I found people to work on things like this with me was via LinkedIn. And if you network with people in the industry, you know, it takes it takes a bit of time to get used to, but I feel you know, that time That you could have spent on tik tok or Instagram, it's gonna be much, much better served on platforms like LinkedIn, making meaningful impressions with the people that can matter most to your career.
Podcast Host 40:11
And before you go as well, I want to know where you get your day to day information from because I think a lot of people would think, okay, if I need to learn about the stock market, I'll read the Wall Street Journal, or I'll read, you know, like the, here in Australia, the Australian Financial Review or something like that. But of course, you know, there is a lot of great online forums where you have like, people who are super nerdy about this stuff, who are, you know, telling you things that you probably never read in the newspaper. So what are your go to resources for those that day to day information about what's happening in the stock market?
So if I want to know what's happening, the stock market says it, you know, news wise, I'd say the Financial Times, they offer a free subscription to secondary school students. So you know, it's amazing that ways, which are financial data as information on stocks, there's this amazing company called atom finance. And atom finance has been, you know, serving my needs for the last year. So they offer like a month, that means subscription for free, and it is amazing. They give you so much data that you just don't know what to do with a little bit. And I'd say, you know, information is really key to understanding what's happening, you know, what moves are going on. So Financial Times are to finance. And this is one last one that's really underrated, but it's called KoiFin and it's basically, you know, like a proper stock trading terminal. Um, except it's just really technical. And you know, you don't need a mouse to use it. It's entirely keyboard driven, which is one thing I like even being on Excel.
Podcast Host 41:40
Yeah. So Koi fin, Financial Times, and Atom finance, was it? Absolutely awesome. Well, I will recommend that for students listen to the podcast to save those in their favorites. And if students wanted to connect with you, what would be the best way to go about it? I'm going to guess LinkedIn is one of the
LinkedIn is the biggest option, there is a connection request, the more than happy to accept it. I love creating relationships with people via LinkedIn. And I mean, you know, my email, Alex, very kindly note that at the start of the session, that one finance analogy.
Podcast Host 42:17
Perfect. Well, I'll put those in the show notes, and hopefully some students reach out to you. Thank you so much for joining us, and I look forward to sharing the episode far and wide.
Absolutely. Thank you so much.
Podcast Host 42:27
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