It's the stuff that makes up the American dream: a teenager is now a multimillionaire thanks to his stock market hobby.
Mohammed Islam, a 17-year-old high school student at Stuyvesant High School in Queens, New York, spends his lunch breaks trading stocks. And that endeavor has paid off, the teen is rumored to be worth around $72 million.
Islam has a BMW and a Manhattan apartment, but because he doesn't have a driver's license, and his parents, immigrants from South Asia, won't let him move out of his current house, he can't use either.
However, he won't have to worry much about his future or even how to pay for college. In the meantime, he and his friends spend their time at a trendy eatery called Miromoto, where they dine on expensive caviar and apple juice (because they're still too young for champagne). Eventually, they want to start a hedge fund when Islam reaches 18, which is the minimum age for a broker-dealer license.
"What makes the world go round?" Islam says. "Money. If money is not flowing, if businesses don't keep going, there's no innovation, no products, no investments, no growth, no jobs."
Islam's story is so much the American dream, that New York Magazine used him as an example in their "Reasons to Love New York" issue.
As a trader, Islam's inspiration comes from Paul Tudor Jones, the 108th richest person in America. Jones is an avid trader and even when he loses, always stays in the game. Jones' example taught Islam to never give up, even after losing money he made from dabbling in penny stocks at the tender age of 9.
"But [Jones] was able to go back to it, even after losing thousands of dollars over and over," says Islam. "Paul Tudor Jones says, 'You learn more from your losses than from your gains.'"
Islam would know. Although the teen wouldn't say exactly how much he is now worth, the rumors put him at about $72 million. Islam, however, still plans on attending college, all the while turning himself into a billionaire in his spare time.
So while most kids spend their lunch breaks doing mundane things like eating and getting caught up on school gossip, there are kids in New York making billions of dollars by being savvy stock traders.
Welcome to America.
[Photo Credit: Free Images]