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Huntington Beach Boys & Girls Club youth get stock tips

Dylan Jin-Ngo presents a check for $500 to Cash Harman at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley.
Dylan Jin-Ngo, 16, presents a check for $500 to Cash Harman, 11, at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley on Thursday. Harman and other youths took part in the program Youth Investors Corps. for five weeks.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Huntington Beach resident Dylan Jin-Ngo still remembers when his aunt gave him his first stock certificate when he was in the sixth grade.

The Christmas gift intrigued him, and Dylan’s interest in business and stock trading took off. He was mostly self-taught.

“When I wanted to learn about the stock market in the sixth grade, there was no available programs or resources in Orange County for young kids like us,” said Dylan, now 16 years old. “This is why I wanted to start this program, to truly be able to be a resource to kids in Orange County who are driven and motivated.”

Dylan, a junior boarding school student at the Thacher School of Ojai, started the nonprofit company Youth Investors Corp. last year. Soon after, he approached the Haynes Family branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley to discuss teaching middle school students about stock trading.

After a five-week online course conducted this summer via Zoom, those kids aged 10 to 13 can say they have the formal instruction that Dylan never got. The first Youth Investors Corp. session concluded two weeks ago, and it was capped off with an awards ceremony Thursday afternoon at the Boys & Girls Club.

Cash Harman, a sixth-grader at Dwyer Middle School, received a $500 grant for earning first place in a stock market simulation game that was part of the curriculum.

“He truly impressed me since day one with both his passion and his skill,” said Dylan Jin-Ngo, who manages his own hedge fund, of Cash’s performance.

“In every class he was in, whenever I would open up the floor for questions, his face would pop up with his hand raised right in front of the camera. His passion was truly evident. He memorized every single one of his stock tickers, he traded stocks and chatted in the chat room outside of class and peppered me with dozens and dozens of questions about how to make his portfolio better. I had to end up giving up two of my own personal stock tips just to appease him.”

Cash Harman listens to Dylan Jin-Ngo from Youth Investors Corps.
Cash Harman, 11, center, listens to Dylan Jin-Ngo, 16, from Youth Investors Corps. during an award ceremony on Thursday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Cash, who is 11, said he hopes to use the $500 to help purchase a new computer.

“When I heard there was a cash prize, that was really cool,” he said. “I never really thought I would win … I just went for the [stocks] that were doing OK. I bought Apple, and I bought Wingstop because Wingstop was doing really good, and then I bought Amazon. I also bought a lot of other small companies, and they just gave me money in the simulation game.”

Huntington Valley Boys & Girls Club unit manager Ryan Brenes said that Dylan’s online stock market class became a favorite after-lunch activity for many of the middle-school kids, twice a week.

Cash’s top competition in the stock market simulation game was Lilianna Dominguez, but in the end he came out on top.

“This age group in general is usually the toughest for us to find things that they will get excited about,” Brenes said. “The first day, I kept peeking my head in and sitting on the Zoom. But after the second one, Dylan called me and said, ‘They love it, they’re so great.’ I’m like, ‘Thank God.’

“Cash especially, all day after that on the computer lab time, he would just be checking his stocks, explaining to everybody else what he’s doing and how he’s going to win. We were really excited that the kids were able to last all five weeks and still enjoy it at the end.”

Dylan said he hopes to do another online stock trading class this winter. The first one went well enough that plans are in the works to include the other two branches of Huntington Valley Boys & Girls Club, Brenes said.

That would be fine with Dylan, who is excited to keep teaching kids about the stock market. That’s an investment he wants to make.

“The kids were really engaged throughout,” he said. “I’m surprised, because they’re middle-schoolers, right? But they’ve been great.”

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