It is a nice and inspiring story, but also one that has one asking – is this the top?
Svetlana Russell addressed 350 finance industry figures last night at the SIFMA Foundation’s annual tribute dinner on Sunday night.
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She may only be in the sixth-grade but Russell, who is inspired by Warren Buffett, has already made quite a name for herself. After winning a national essay competition for students who participate in the foundation's Stock Market Game, Russell was invited to speak at the event, writes Melody Hahm for Yahoo Finance.
Next generation Warren Buffett?
Russell beat off 20,000 students to win the competition, all of whom take part in the Stock Market Game. She currently holds virtual shares in Chipotle, Apple, Google and Yahoo, and told the press that she invests in what she knows, a strategy also followed by Warren Buffett.
The Stock Market Game is a fun way for students to learn about finance, but it also gets competitive. “I wasn’t really interested in finance at first so I was just going with the flow. But I was near the bottom so I decided to learn some more. At first I was motivated by seeing my losses, but as I did more research, I got more interested because this is what you have to do in the real world,” said Russell.
SIFMA Foundation President Melanie Mortimer stressed that the program is inclusive. “We have AP economics class students at Stuyvesant High School, hearing impaired students, those at juvenile detention centers. This is about boosting personal confidence -- there are no barriers here,” she said.
Buffett would be proud of youngster's wisdom
That said the focus is on young children. “Starting early makes a big difference. What we love about introducing the game to 4th graders is that it’s when students’ minds are open. It helps them navigate the world with a new perspective,” added Mortimer.
The game seems to be having a real impact on young people, even those who don't go on to work in finance. Thanks to their experience they are more aware of money and how to handle it.
“I think I’ve realized that not all careers pay as much as you wish they did. And investing can pay for your family, your career choice and everything else,” Russell said. While only 39% of adults claim to keep a close eye on what they spend their money on, Russell and her peers seem to be ahead of the game. Could she be Buffett's natural heiress?