Trent Remillard is only 19, yet he has a diversified stock portfolio on Wall Street and a significant sum of money in his Roth IRA. Trent started both accounts in 2015 when he became involved with Morgan Franklin Fellowship, a program that educates teens and young adults about financial literacy. Since then he’s seen his investments rise to new heights. Is that simply the result of the current bull market, or has Morgan Franklin Fellowship (MFF) taught him the skills to be a wise investor at a very young age?
To find out, I caught up with Trent at a coffee shop the day before his return to Bryant University after a recent college break. “It’s up 30%,” he told me, referencing the growth rate of his MFF portfolio. “I just checked it today.” So, what part did Morgan Franklin play in teaching him about investing? “I started out with a pretty good understanding of the stock market but MFF helped me put my knowledge into actual application. I now have a more serious outlook regarding my investments and the market. I’m not just investing for the sake of investing any longer. I make more educated decisions.”
Founded in 2014, MFF seeks to teach financial literacy to youth with two unique, free programs. Students in the MFF Financial Literacy Program enroll in a series of three online educational courses designed to increase their knowledge of financial literacy concepts. Students are paired with both a Personal Mentor, who provides motivation and encouragement, and a Financial Mentor, who offers expertise in finance, the stock market or business. Students who complete the courses with an 80% or better are awarded the title “MFF Financial Fellow” and invited to apply to the MFF Investment Program. The MFF Investment Program teaches stock market investing through a hands-on investment opportunity. Fellows continues to work with their mentors throughout the MFF program and in addition, any gains they earn in their MFF portfolio go into their own personal Roth IRA.
Trent was 16 when he was accepted into Morgan Franklin Fellowship and he has only positive things to say about his experience. “MFF is a great opportunity for everyone. No matter what an individual’s age or where they come from.” Trent shared that one of the best parts of the MFF program was having the opportunity to discuss a host of topics with his Financial Mentor. “We’ve discussed investment strategies, how aggressive to be in the market, even Ponzi schemes. These are things I wouldn’t normally have an opportunity to talk about.”
In addition to educating teens and young adults about financial literacy and investing, MFF is also intent on sharing life skills so that participants will be successful in the workplace. These skills include communication, critical thinking, leadership, as well as the importance of having both a positive attitude and a principled work ethic. Writing skills are also honed through a series of reflection reports (for the MFF Financial Literacy Program) and quarterly reports (for the MFF Investment Program) which are reviewed and graded by an MFF Academic Advisor.
Trent summed up his four years in the program this way: “MFF is an outstanding program. I’ve learned a lot.” He also spoke about his most recent year in the program. “I have a diverse portfolio, but I went bold this past year. I am comfortable being aggressive. When you are younger, as I am, you have time to recover if the market takes a downturn.”
As for the amount of work involved in participating with MFF, he paused a moment to consider. “The program is not difficult. I guess you could say the quarterly reports are a good reminder for me to check my stocks periodically. The reports do keep me on track.”
I asked Trent if he had any advice to share with those individuals who might be interested in applying to the Morgan Franklin Financial Literacy Program. “Overall, there is no down side. I would say apply, good luck, and happy trading.” Not bad advice from someone who is well on his way to funding his retirement, at the age of nineteen.
To apply or learn more about Morgan Franklin Fellowship, visit www.MorganFranklinFellowship.com or call 603-548-6028.