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By Sydney Page
Jan. 30, 2021 at 3:00 a.m. PST
The GameStop stock surge has benefited small-scale investors, many of them surprised at their unlikely windfalls. Perhaps none so much as a 10-year-old boy from San Antonio.
The fifth-grader was gifted 10 GameStop shares, each at $6.19, as a Kwanzaa present from his mother in December 2019. She bought the stock simply because her son liked to buy video games at the store and she wanted to teach him a little about the stock market.
In a matter of minutes this week, Jaydyn Carr became an unexpected beneficiary of the market mayhem, as his $60 stake in the video game retailer grew to $3,200. “Is this really happening right now?” Jaydyn’s mother, Nina Carr, remembers asking herself. “I couldn’t believe it was true.”
Carr, 31, was working in her home office on Wednesday when a slew of news alerts about GameStop’s Reddit-spurred surge started appearing on her phone. Her jaw dropped. Once she absorbed the news, she sprinted to her son’s bedroom. “I was so excited for him,” she said. In simple terms, she described to Jaydyn what happened to his GameStop shares and why they suddenly skyrocketed.
“She was saying that stocks hardly ever go up this way, so if I wanted to sell it, we should sell it now,” Jaydyn said.
Ultimately, the choice was his. “It wouldn’t be fair for me to make the decision on his behalf,” Carr explained. Besides, she added, “if he lost the money, it would have been a lesson learned.” So, she asked her only child the burning question: “Do you want to sell or stay?” To her relief, Jaydyn decided to sell.
When Carr bought the GameStop shares in 2019 as a Kwanzaa gift, her sole intention in purchasing the stock was to teach her then-eight-year-old son about Ujamaa, which means, “cooperative economics.” It’s one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa. “The goal was to ensure he knows the value of a dollar and how to manage money,” Carr said, explaining that Ujamaa is the idea of sharing wealth while also strengthening personal finances and self-reliance. Carr said that since Jaydyn’s father passed away in February 2014, it has been a priority for her to educate her son about money management.
“I am very frugal, and saving is a big part of what I do. Being the only parent, I want to set a good example for him,” she said. “I got into finance when his dad passed away. I wanted to make sure his future was in good hands.” Carr — who is a public health nutritionist and runs her own business — felt the gift was an opportunity to reinforce the importance of investments.
“I was so excited. I thought it wasn’t even reality,” Jaydyn said. Carr then walked her son through the selling process, and he cashed out his shares. The plan is to put $2,200 in Jaydyn’s savings account and then invest the remaining $1,000 as a mother-son team. According to Jaydyn, he has already learned a lot from his mom: “She is always teaching me what to do in emergencies in life and how to save money to one day buy a car and a house,” he said. For Jaydyn, this is just the beginning. He has already got big plans: “I am now looking for companies that pay dividends,” he said confidently.