25-year-old tech founder is helping teach everyday Americans how to invest

Learning to think like an investor at a young age, he says, helped him become a tech entrepreneur. Gage, 25, is one of the founders of Rapunzl Investments, a mobile app that lets users simulate stock trading in real time. Gage believes that his platform can help young people who lack formal financial education make better decisions and start investing for their future. Starting in first grade, students learn core financial tenets like investing and entrepreneurship and get hands-on experience in


Learning to think like an investor at a young age, he says, helped him become a tech entrepreneur. Gage, 25, is one of the founders of Rapunzl Investments, a mobile app that lets users simulate stock trading in real time. Gage believes that his platform can help young people who lack formal financial education make better decisions and start investing for their future. Starting in first grade, students learn core financial tenets like investing and entrepreneurship and get hands-on experience in
25-year-old tech founder is helping teach everyday Americans how to invest Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-09  Authors: sam becker, anna-louise jackson
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, invest, investing, everyday, rapunzl, gage, founder, stock, app, helping, tech, money, users, school, 25yearold, ariel, teach, americans, financial


25-year-old tech founder is helping teach everyday Americans how to invest

Like a lot of kids, Myles Gage was into sneakers when he was growing up. But his mom suggested an unusual rule: For every pair of Nikes that Gage owned, he should own a share of Nike stock. Learning to think like an investor at a young age, he says, helped him become a tech entrepreneur. Gage, 25, is one of the founders of Rapunzl Investments, a mobile app that lets users simulate stock trading in real time. The platform makes a game out of the markets: Users get $10,000 fictitious dollars to buy and sell stocks, which helps them learn how the markets work and start to experience the excitement and potential benefit of investing. Gage believes that his platform can help young people who lack formal financial education make better decisions and start investing for their future.

Learning early to be ‘financially literate’

Gage says his parents made a lot of financial mistakes and they wanted to make sure their kids didn’t follow in their footsteps: “They wanted us to be financially literate and in a position to make better decisions.” That’s partly why Gage’s mother, who worked for the Chicago Parks District, found a way to get him and his brother, Mario, into Ariel Community Academy, a specialized public school for students K-8 with a focus on financial education. Starting in first grade, students learn core financial tenets like investing and entrepreneurship and get hands-on experience investing in stocks. Attending Ariel made a huge difference in Gage’s life: “The only reason I know about the stock market is because of Ariel Community Academy,” he says.

The only reason I know about the stock market is because of Ariel Community Academy. Myles Gage CFO, Rapunzl Investments

That knowledge paid off: It helped Gage win a full-ride scholarship to the University of Chicago Laboratory School, a prestigious private high school. “I wrote an essay about how I planned to finance my college tuition. And the main point of that was that I was going to liquidate my stock portfolio,” he says. “I don’t think the judges were expecting a 14-year-old to be talking about liquidating a portfolio, let alone one from the south side of Chicago.”

The origins of Rapunzl

As a high school freshman in 2008, Gage immediately bonded with another student, Brian Curcio. While discussing the stock market and the budding financial crisis, the two came up with the idea of a stock market game, using fictional money, to teach people how the markets work. Over the next few years, the economy recovered. Some investors, who had money to buy stocks when the markets bottomed out, started to see strong returns. Average Americans, however, were often missing out. Gage didn’t think that profits should belong only to a select few, hidden away at the top of a tower like the character of Rapunzel in the 1812 Brothers Grimm fairy tale. Rapunzl the app, Gage and Curcio decided, would make investing accessible. It would give anybody the chance to learn, to figure out how the stock markets work. Then, when users were comfortable, they could actually start investing.

How the app got funded

Through their college years, the two met frequently to refine the concept for Rapunzl. They settled on an idea that would allow users to simulate a stock portfolio without risking real money. But to make their idea come to life, real money is exactly what the two young entrepreneurs needed. So, after graduating in 2016, they organized their ideas and started looking around for seed funding.

Myles Gage with Rapunzl cofounder Brian Curcio. Courtesy Rapunzl Investments LLC

“We put a mini-pitch deck together and shopped it around to our friends and family, and were able to muster up funds to develop a prototype,” Gage says. They hired a Canadian developer who created an early version of the app and made it available for download in April 2017. Around that time, Rapunzl also did another round of fundraising, which netted the company enough money to continue perfecting the platform. Several months later, the founders brought in a third partner, Chris Thomas, as the company’s CTO.

‘Our country needs more innovative approaches like Rapunzl’

To attract users and take aim at their mission of creating a new generation of confident, financially literate investors, Gage and the team headed back to school — literally. Rapunzl partnered with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and started sponsoring conferences, plus essay and investing competitions at schools around the Chicago area. The team also met with John Rogers, the chairman and CEO of Ariel Investments — which also funds and sponsors Ariel Community Academy — who agreed to sponsor the competitions and provide prize money. In 2018, Rapunzl was involved in competitions in more than 70 Chicago-area schools, comprising more than 2,000 students.

Our country needs more innovative approaches like Rapunzl that aim to tackle financial illiteracy and close the achievement gap. Arne Duncan Former U.S. Secretary of Education

Rapunzl is building on its success in Chicago schools by expanding. Last year, it sponsored competitions in Los Angeles, Boston, and New York, with plans for more cities next year, and colleges, too. It has even managed to catch the attention of former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Our country needs more innovative approaches like Rapunzl that aim to tackle financial illiteracy and close the achievement gap,” Duncan said, following an announcement about Rapunzl partnering with investing firm Wedbush. Duncan, who doesn’t have any current connection to the app, did play a role in developing the curriculum at Ariel Community Academy.

The app and its founders hope to make a difference

So far, the Rapunzl team has focused their efforts on generating interest in the platform and getting young users hooked on trading. The app doesn’t currently drive revenue, though, and Gage is hopeful that will change. He says at some point in 2020, the platform will be monetized through affiliate marketing and premium subscriptions.

Courtesy Rapunzl Investments LLC


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-09  Authors: sam becker, anna-louise jackson
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, invest, investing, everyday, rapunzl, gage, founder, stock, app, helping, tech, money, users, school, 25yearold, ariel, teach, americans, financial


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Steel tariffs are ‘potentially dangerous’ and could spark a trade war: Ariel strategist

Steel tariffs could spark a trade war, says Charles Bobrinskoy, vice chairman and head of investment group at Ariel Investments. Trump has said he supports the steel tariff. While Bobrinskoy said the steel industry is a relatively small business, there are many companies that use steel in their products. “In general, tariffs impact our ability to offer products at a competitive retail price to our customers in any market,” Pflughoeft said. American steel stocks climbed higher on Monday after new


Steel tariffs could spark a trade war, says Charles Bobrinskoy, vice chairman and head of investment group at Ariel Investments. Trump has said he supports the steel tariff. While Bobrinskoy said the steel industry is a relatively small business, there are many companies that use steel in their products. “In general, tariffs impact our ability to offer products at a competitive retail price to our customers in any market,” Pflughoeft said. American steel stocks climbed higher on Monday after new
Steel tariffs are ‘potentially dangerous’ and could spark a trade war: Ariel strategist Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-02-26  Authors: kellie ell
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, ariel, youve, dangerous, supports, strategist, potentially, spark, impact, war, tariffs, steel, bobrinskoy, trump, tariff, products, trade


Steel tariffs are ‘potentially dangerous' and could spark a trade war: Ariel strategist

Steel tariffs could spark a trade war, says Charles Bobrinskoy, vice chairman and head of investment group at Ariel Investments.

“It’s another one of those things that is potentially dangerous but doesn’t have a lot of short-term impact,” he said Monday on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” He pointed out that the Great Depression began over a trade war.

“It can really get ugly if people start competing with each other,” Bobrinskoy said.

Last spring, citing the interest of national security, President Donald Trump launched the Section 232 investigation to determine the ramifications of steel and aluminum imports.

Then, earlier this month, the Commerce Department recommended imposing an approximately 25 percent tariff on foreign producers of steel and aluminum, saying in a report that the products were a threat to the economy.

Trump has said he supports the steel tariff.

But other nations could retaliate with tariffs of their own. The European Union is a major exporter of steel to the U.S. A German newspaper reported on Feb. 20 that the EU is planning to impose tariffs on classic American products, such as Kentucky bourbon, Harley-Davidson motorcycles and agricultural products such tomatoes and cheese. There is also fear that China will retaliate with similar tariffs over U.S. soybean imports.

While Bobrinskoy said the steel industry is a relatively small business, there are many companies that use steel in their products.

“If you add up all the [companies] who have steel in their products,” he said, “including … Boeing, it would be harder on us if you increase these prices.”

Harley-Davidson media manager Michael Pflughoeft said until the company has a chance to confirm and review any proposed tariff increases, it will not respond to the potential impact on its customers.

“In general, tariffs impact our ability to offer products at a competitive retail price to our customers in any market,” Pflughoeft said. “We support free and fair trade policies that address barriers to international growth and allow us to compete globally.”

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association, a trade group for bourbon makers, did not respond to a request for comment.

Bobrinskoy said the issue is “tough … because politically you’ve got a lot of steel workers in swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. But then you’ve got car manufacturers in Ohio and Michigan.”

“I’m a free trader; I think that net-net, it’s better for the world if we don’t have tariffs. But this is one where there are some core Trump constituents who really want to see less imports,” he said.

American steel stocks climbed higher on Monday after news that Trump supports the tariffs.

— CNBC’s Kayla Tausche contributed to this report.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-02-26  Authors: kellie ell
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, ariel, youve, dangerous, supports, strategist, potentially, spark, impact, war, tariffs, steel, bobrinskoy, trump, tariff, products, trade


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