Investing in change: How these Coppell teens are using the stock market to aid their community - The Dallas Morning News
A group of Coppell teens are not only investing in themselves but also in their community.
Kavin Sampath, 17, began investing as a kid. As of a few years ago, the Coppell High senior is now managing his mother’s Roth IRA account. That passion inspired the teen to create an investing club with his friends that now benefits local nonprofits.
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“Our main mission statement is kind of like going against the common stereotype that investors are only in it for themselves,” Sampath said. “They invest at the expense of others. We’re showing that you can invest on behalf of others as well.”
Originally, Sampath wanted to create an investing club at school, so he reached out to friends about joining. However, campus leaders rejected the idea, noting that Coppell High already had a surplus of business-centered clubs.
Still wanting to create the group, Sampath convinced his friends to form the Charitable Investment Club outside of school in January 2020.
Founding members Aksh Tyagi, Rohan Nalla, Prabhav Kumbum, Rohan Pritmani and Nikshith Konnuru are all still with the club serving as executive committee members, along with Sampath as executive chair. Anshul Shah joined the club later as a member and is now the marketing director.
“What really sold me on the idea was the fact that he was telling me about how we would first learn about the stock market but also get to use whatever we learn to enact positive change,” said Tyagi, a senior at Coppell High.
The club spent that spring teaching each other about investing and the workings of the stock market as a whole. When the summer hit, the club made its first venture into investing with money gathered by its six original members, Sampath said.
The club’s first donation was to the North Texas Food Bank, where they provided more than 200 pounds of peanut butter.
Eager to have a deeper impact, the Charitable Investments Club transitioned into a registered nonprofit, Sampath said.
The club now has about 20 members. Some are analysts who watch and note how stocks are doing. Others work with marketing and fundraising teams. The final decision on what stocks to invest in comes from the group’s executive board.
Everything done through the club is about learning, with Sampath and the founding members being mostly self-taught. The first summer they started investing was full of lessons on profits and losses, he noted.
“Experience is a really great teacher in the stock market world,” Sampath said.
One of the group’s biggest cheerleaders is Brian Simpson, a business teacher from Coppell High.
Simpson, who helped out on the club’s first press release, noted that the teens are more up to date on the market and what’s going on stock-wise than many others. He’s encouraged to see students doing such in-depth research and sharing with each other, Simpson added.
“In this day and age, we shouldn’t have a lesson or classroom where the teacher is just info-dumping on students,” Simpson said. “Students are the resource now.”
Among hanging out and building something with their friends, each executive member has their own personal reason for staying involved with the club.
For Tyagi, who works with the analyst team, it’s being able to teach new members the principles of investing. When the 17-year-old joined the club, he wasn’t as versed in the field as fellow members but deepened his learning as time went on.
Kumbum, a senior, enjoys coordinating donations with nonprofits and seeing how their contributions translate into real life results. The club recently donated funds to sponsor a day of meals at The Stewpot, a homeless shelter in Dallas.
Not every member wants to pursue investing as a career. Some are interested in finance but others are leaning toward unrelated fields, such as computer science. Regardless, all want to pursue a career where they can make an impact.
The executive board — all seniors — hope to continue the club even after graduating. They want to create enough experiences for younger members so the underclassmen can carry on the club. Some even are considering carrying the mission into college.
“We’re just trying to create a legacy of breaking societal barriers of teenagers making an impact in the world,” Pritmani, a senior, said. “The goal right now is to just create that foundation.”
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