In September of 2015, I was a senior in high school. My friend Michael Dunlap said the word “bearish” on Twitter, which provoked me to ask: what does that mean? And while we’re at it, what does “bullish” mean?
Michael told me to study up on financial markets. Me, being the idiot I was, replied: “I think I’m too young to care about that.”
Two years went by and I still didn’t care much. I found out what bearish and bullish meant and moved along. Then, in November of 2017, as a sophomore in college, I gained an interest in the stock market.
Almost three years later, the list of financial words in my dictionary is a lot longer than those two words. I lie in bed in both the morning and night checking up on businesses in the news, market inefficiencies, what I can invest in, and, most importantly, whether or not my Robinhood account grew.
My interest in the stock market is not necessarily the point, though. Michael’s response stuck with me: “No age minimum to get educated.”
Should I, a 22-year-old college graduate, be looking back at my 17-year-old self as a moron for not listening to his advice? No. Well, yes. But it’s to be expected. Teenagers are dumb by nature and I was no exception. At 22, I see Michael as a smart, experienced man that understands a lot more about life than me.
I saw him as that five years ago, too. But again, I was a dumb teenager that thought about dumb things and didn’t care for advice I didn’t seek on my own.
While I don’t hate myself for not listening and getting into the market a couple of years earlier, I would hate myself a couple of years from now for thinking I’m too young to learn something new.
I think, to some degree, everyone thinks they’re “too young” for something. Or, for that matter, “too old.”
These are excuses. Our minds are smart but soft. We should be seeking challenge and change, constantly giving ourselves opportunities to experience and grow. But our mind will seek comfort. It will convince you that your age won’t allow this and you shouldn’t try.
Unless you are a senior citizen trying to play in the NBA or a 9-year-old trying to drive a NASCAR, your age doesn’t define who you are and what you do. So don’t let it.