By Kyle Cheromcha
How can kids get a solid introduction to the world of finance and investing? Thanks to twelve-year-old Fabian Fernandez-Han, there’s an app for that.
The gifted home-schooler from Conroe, Texas recently won the NYSE Financial Future Challenge with his iPhone app “Oink-a-Saurus,” designed to present kids and young adults with easy-to-understand financial advice and information about the stock market.
The application, currently under development, simulates a stock portfolio for the user based on their interests and shows them how it would perform if they invested rather than spent their money. It also includes a social networking system that can link users with similar portfolios.
“Kids have few expenses or responsibilities, so it makes sense for them to invest and start saving for college early when they don’t have a lot to lose,” Fabian said.
And Fabian is not your typical twelve-year-old. He’s been learning about the economy since he was ten from his father and from reading on his own. After winning an iPod Touch in the Molecular Frontiers Inquiry Prize contest, he saw the potential to combine his interest in finance with the functionality of an iPhone app.
Fabian’s investment strategy follows the “Three P’s” – people, planet, and profit. Before he invests in a company, he always looks at how socially responsible they are. If a company didn’t meet his ethical standards, he said, he won’t invest even if it is turning a good profit. It’s a value that he credits to the way his parents raised him.
“It’s what we all should be doing,” he said.
Fabian’s family life is no less extraordinary. His older brother, Javier, was featured in Popular Science last fall as an accomplished inventor and recently started his own non-profit organization. He’s sixteen years old.
The boys’ father, Peter Han, who recently quit his job to help his sons pursue their passions, has a simple take on the social responsibility they exude.
“We expect it as part of being a human being,” he said. “To whom much is given, much is expected.”