That is, if Tuesday's New York Post feature on one Sam Lesser is representative of a larger whole. The Post described Lesser as "one of a long line of average Joe investors" who still hadn't received confirmation of his desired purchase of $10,000 worth of Facebook shares. Only Lesser isn't adult Lesser, but 11-year-old Sam, an Upper East Side private school boy -- The Town School (the press release of students' service activities is no doubt being prepared as I write) -- who acquired the 10 grand for his investing disposal from a company he started to sell stuff to classmates and neighbors. (As the great P.T. Barnum said, "There's one born every minute," but that's another topic.)
Sam, photographed at his desk, his countenance one of forlorn determination, has that look of adolescent refinement (delicate features, politely tousled hair) that a generation ago would have gained him entry to a "Dead Poets Society" casting call. In real life, ceo responsibilities and playing the stock market probably leave Sam little time for outside-the-classroom perusals of the classics.
Aside from the fact that maybe Sam should be happy if he didn't get any Facebook stock at $38 a share, the implication captured by the Post is that he and his mother think woe-is-Sam. "It's really disappointing, because we could have made money on this," Sam lamented. "Nobody seems to have any answers at Fidelity....We feel misguided and misled," Sam's mom said. Misled -- maybe. Misguided -- you bet.
I'm not against kids learning about money -- it's essential. If, for whatever reason a child on his own or with his family has the wherewithal for him to learn in five-figure increments, Godspeed. But who in that family thought this kind of going public -- in the Post -- was a good idea? Earth to mom: Real average Joe kids rake leaves and, when old enough, bag groceries. An iPhone is a major acquisition.
Sam's mom added that he intended to direct some of his potential profits to Lance Armstrong's Livestrong initiative. Sure. Right after boosting his position with Google.