Q&A: Julian Marchese, 15-year-old day-trading savant
He created a computer program that can earn money while he’s at school. Who says today’s kids can’t manage their finances?
How did you get into the stock market?
I wanted to set my parents up for financial freedom, so I Googled ways to make money, and I started reading up on the stock market. When I was 8, I saw my parents log in to their brokerage account, and I remembered the password and went in and bought stock for an airline company. My mom nearly had a heart attack.
Why an airline company?
It was 2004, and the airline industry was coming back post-9/11. Another time, when I was 9, I recommended that my parents buy into a uranium company. They didn’t, but in two months the company tripled in value.
You went on Dragons’ Den with a computer system you designed that can make you money while you’re in class. How does that work?
I created a few mathematical models and plugged them into a software platform so that it can trade without me being there. I back-tested the strategy for four years. I’m only 15, so I can’t trade on my own yet, but if I’d invested $50,000 in 2008 it would now be at $180,000.
Wow. What’s the strategy?
Essentially, when the average price of oil hits an extreme, the program looks to trade. I use oil because it’s more rational—it’s countries trading, not average joes like in the stock market—and there’s usually some sort of comeback, and that’s what it takes advantage of. So it’s a simple average: when it goes to an extreme low, it looks to buy; when it hits an extreme high, it looks to sell.
It sounds like you’ve found the Holy Grail. What’s the catch?
Strategies only work for a certain amount of time—usually until enough people discover the same strategy. So I’m constantly looking for the next edge.
The Dragons gave you $50,000 to test your system. How is that going?
Well, I don’t actually have the money yet. I’ve spoken to the Dragons’ lawyer and they’re now doing due diligence.
How do you get your homework and chores done and stay up on the markets?
I get up around 7 a.m. and go into my office—I have the top floor of our Mississauga townhouse all to myself—and turn on CNBC. I check out what happened overnight. Europe’s in play right now, and a lot of things there will affect what the U.S. and Canada do. After school, I go to my computers, pull up my charts and see what happened. When the markets close at 4, I’ll do whatever.
Which is what?
You know, whatever’s up. Sports, homework. On Wednesdays, I co-host an Internet-based radio show on power trading. Or I play my electric guitar. I’m really into Zeppelin and Van Halen. Or I watch South Park, Family Guy or The Simpsons.
Do any of your friends get jealous of all the attention you’re getting?
Well, if they get jealous, then they’re not my friends. Plus, at school, I’m totally different. I’m not talking about all this technical crap. We talk about video games and stuff. But you could say the stock market is my Call of Duty: I’m going into a battlefield every day, but I’m fighting the banks.
Speaking of which, if you had one minute with Ben Bernanke, what would you say?
Have you checked me out on YouTube yet?
Are you saving up for something special?
I tell my dad I’d like to buy him the Leafs. I’d also like a Rolex Yacht-Master II.
And then the yacht to go with it?
What else is on your to-do list?
My goal is to launch my own hedge fund. But I want a master’s degree in economics and psychology first.
Where does world domination come in?
I’m working on it.
14 thoughts on “Q&A: Julian Marchese, 15-year-old day-trading savant”
I’m not paying 5 mill for a galley kitchen.
sure, one more conartist who wants to advertise himself, and Torontolife is a sucker. Bunch of losers !
So, he can’t trade his own money yet because he is 15 ?
But why can’t he ask his folks to open an account under their name instead and he can trade their money, and see if he will still have a roof after six months of trading.
trading is not for a 15-year-old boy. is he a programmer? its just funny malcolm…
Geez, so many negative comments here! Good for Julian! At least he has the balls to do what he does.
If you had watched the show you would know that he has been using his parents money and has been quite successful that is why the dragons liked his program so much. It has a proven track record ! Nice to see youth supported !
You are an inspiration to young adults, as well as, amateur investors. Do not let any negative comments stand in your way. Stay honest to your word and yourself and the rest will take care of itself.
Learning about the stock mekrat takes a bit of time, but it’s well worth it, and books are a great way to start. I recommend Stock Investing for Dummies (no offense). It’s good book for understanding the basics. I would also recommend How to Make Money in Stocks by William J. O’Neil. It’s also a good one because it tells you what kind of fundamentals to look for in a stock, a bit about how to look for patterns in stock charts and how to protect your capital. It’s the first book I read when I started my stock trading and a very good start for stock investing or trading. Any questions about terms or anything go to Investopedia online.As you begin to read some books and research stock trading online (link to site below with an overview of beginning investing/trading), you’ll have to decide how actively you’ll want to trade and begin gauging your comfort level. The great thing is that while you’re learning, you can “paper trade” as you begin to learn strategies. That’s basically where you keep a fake portfolio of your trades. This will give you time to really think about how you want to invest/trade stocks, control risk, position sizing, set goals, monitoring your progress, etc.When you’re ready, I definitely recommend going ahead and opening an investing account to gain access to stock mekrat information, watch lists (fake portfolios), educational tools and free webinars that you can use as you begin the stock investing process (TD Ameritrade is a good broker to start with as they offer all that I’ve mentioned and more). You can also familiarize yourself with the broker’s trading platform so when you begin to trade, you’ll have familiarity with how a trade is placed and have access to any resources related to the beginner investor.That is so great you are interested trading because when you learn how to trade you do it for yourself and your family and you act as an example to those who know you. Learning how to trade or invest will serve you your whole life!
Oh the hubris at this age. The longer it goes the worse it’ll be for him when it all comes crashing down.
What a babe.
Well it is always fun to speculate if a young person has a genius for trading. I wonder how fast he is going to burn out? Most of the pros are beat in the market because they have bias towards it. Well you have to have a stratigy (which is a bias). Julian has no built up bias of the same type, not a bit iron-headed at this time. But as he wins or loses he will have to fight bias. Even using data is not helpful in a market massaged by govt. intervention. Good luck to you Julian. Only one piece of advice Donot try to move too fast. That is where you get smeared. I see your having constant gains keep that mindset if it takes 20 yrs. to get that ship you want , not as exciting but better on the nerves. Remember trading is not life and death.
Algorithmic trading, macro fundementals and technical analysis…great start, well done. Success is yours in time my friend.
Not to discredit Julian’s intellect or skill at what he does, but anyone who put money into almost anything in 2008 would have seen at least 100% gain. For example, BMO, one of the biggest banks in canada has doubled in value and also paid a dividend. If I had the money, I would have put money into things also. I could’ve taken a loan, but that’s way to risky, and you never play with money you can’t afford to lose.
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