Teen financial guru, app developer shares investment tips

Posted at 1:50 PM, Nov 23, 2020

"It's weird being a 16 year old these days," Reid Sotkin said.

You could say Sotkin is just your average kid. He's a junior at Jenks High School who likes to hang out with friends. And oh, by the way, he's an investment guru.

"I just googled what books Warren Buffet recommended and that's kind of how I got my start," Sotkin said.

One of his favorite books?

"Actually this book right here," he said. "'The Intelligent Investor' taught me quite a bit."

Sotkin is so passionate about investing, he's become a source of advice for friends young and old.

"I started investing myself and then all my friends started asking me what they should invest into and stuff," he said.

Now, he's combining his love of investing and his passion for coding to develop an app to teach people how to invest wisely.

"There's a feature on the app where you put in your salary and how long until you retire, all your bills and everything," Sotkin said.

Sotkin's app, "Calculating The Future," is an award winning app.

"It tells you how much you have to put in each month into each of them and it tells you how much money you'll have when you retire," he said.

Sotkin appeared before a panel of judges on a Zoom call, answered all kinds of questions, and won the 2020 Congressional App Challenge.

"I guess they just chose me to win and then Congressman Hern gave me a phone call one afternoon. Yeah, I was pretty surprised," he said.

Sotkin puts his money where his mouth is. He plans on living comfortably. So, he's investing now.

"I do a couple hundred dollars every month," Sotkin said. "So, I just do that so that way I'll have a couple million dollars by the time I retire just sitting in the background."

During our Zoom interview, I just couldn't resist getting some advice about my own investment advisor, 2 Works For You's Chief Meteorologist Mike Collier.

"He's kind of been giving me some stock tips and they've been kind of terrible," I said as Sotkin laughed. "So, give Mike some advice on how he should invest in the stock market."

"Basically, unless you're very smart and spending a lot of time, you're not going to beat the market," Sotkin said.

Sotkin said he likes the S&P500. It represents 500 very reliable companies.

"That's gone up an average of 9.8% since its inception," Sotkin said. "That's the way to go. Just put it in index funds and let it accumulate over 30, 40, 50 years."

The future is looking bright for this young entrepreneur and it could be for you, too. Sotkin said it's all about starting early, being consistent, and taking advantage of compound interest.

"Do you mind if I ask about your net worth right now," I asked.

"Yeah, but ah... I don't want to say right now," he answered.

This story originally reported by Mike Brooks on