Student Launches Investing Web Site

Published: Aug 25, 2008
When University of Tampa sophomore Christopher Sacchinelli began day trading in his freshman year, he made a discovery. Despite the vast amount of information on the Internet and elsewhere about investments, there was a lack of what he considered to be good information catering specifically to young people. Over the course of a year, Sacchinelli sought to change that.

The sum of his efforts, a Web site known as www.successfulyounginvestor.com, made its debut two weeks ago and has already attracted more than 1,500 visitors. Through the Web site, Sacchinelli offers young investors advice on everything from the basics of investing to the specifics of investing with stocks and bonds, banks, mutual funds and other means.

“I wanted to develop a site for young investors so that they really believe that they can be successful,” Sacchinelli said. “I figured there wasn’t much information for young investors out there. The information I did find made the kid seem like they really couldn’t become a successful young investor. The goal is not to oversimplify it, but not make it sound too complicated either.”

Sacchinelli’s longtime interest in finances and investments began in the fifth grade, when he says he first began making investments. As a student at UT, where he is an economics major in the John Sykes College of Business, Sacchinelli began taking detailed notes in his economics classes and doing independent research to enhance his knowledge of the investment industry.

With the help of a few friends, including a business professional with six years of experience on Wall Street, Sacchinelli began work on the Web site four months ago, composing most of the content himself as well as coordinating the Web page design.

While some of the content remains under construction, the site has already attracted the attention of Web visitors in addition to local news outlets in Sacchinelli’s hometown of Norwalk, CT.

“It’s kind of become a cult thing in Norwalk,” he said, adding that since he began work on the site, several people have sought his assistance in building a financial portfolio. He hopes to see an average of 100,000 visitors to the site per month.

Among the areas of the site still being developed are sections on retirement planning, careers in the investment industry as well as college financial planning. Having secured his own educational financing himself, Sacchinelli says the College of Business was a major factor in his decision to attend UT.

Eventually he hopes to see the Web site develop into a collaborative effort in which anyone with financial know-how can contribute content. A Web blog currently offers the site’s viewers the opportunity to contribute their own ideas and suggestions.

Another major goal is the establishment of a scholarship fund for any young investors who contribute significantly to the site.

The site generates revenue through online advertising and the Successful Young Investor bookstore, which markets investment-related books and is powered by Amazon.com. However, Sacchinelli says profit is not one of the site’s main goals.

“I would say overall I want the site to be an inspiration to young investors,” he said. “So they say ‘I can do this right now,’ instead of waiting years to become successful investors.”