Antonio Romero

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Antonio Romero committed to the Georgia Institute of Technology and is pursuing a degree in Computer Engineering while continuing his journey as a collegiate swimmer. One of his areas of interest going into college is to continue learning about the intersections between the financial and engineering industries. Post-graduation, Antonio will seek a career in the technology/engineering industry and looking to continue following his passions in and out of the pool.

How were you involved at your CASH Club Branch?

I joined CASH club as a member in my sophomore year at Shepton High School, and competed in both semester’s competitions in addition to participating in every meeting. Although I did not win the competition in my first semester, I took home first and second place in the second semester after learning from my experiences. After being unable to join an officer spot, I continued to compete in CASH club competitions and partake in meetings during my junior year. Even after the pandemic closed down school, I continued to participate in the online competition portion of CASH club.

What is one thing you learned in CASH Club that you will take with you for the rest of your life?

During my first semester competing, I spent little time researching, which resulted in my lack of success and overall loss. Learning from these mistakes, I changed my strategy from blind investment, to one based on research and trends. This shift to one based on logical reasoning greatly affected my success in the overall competition, launching both of my accounts to first and second place for that semester. This change in approach showed me the importance of research and a logic approach to investing; however, a completely risk-free strategy is not always the most effective option. In the following semesters, I followed a similar strategy but did not achieve as much success. My strategy of pure logic led to a rather risk free path that did not lead to much profit. From my multiple semesters using this strategy and seeing much smaller results than I expected, I concluded that the competition in which I won was an outlier, and most likely was not a consistently successful strategy. This led to my belief that the most effective method to investing was a balance between logical reasoning and risk taking. Even though I am still learning about investment strategies, these CASH club competitions have taught me about the complexity of decisions; because in the end, the stock market is just a series of complex decisions. Decisions will never have a clear answer, and there will never be a simple strategy that will apply to all scenarios. There will always be a need to balance between logic and risk, as either extreme will most likely not be applicable in every situation, resulting in each situation needing to be analyzed independently. CASH Club has taught me how to approach decisions beyond the stock market.

CASH Club members will go on to study a wide variety of majors in college. Regardless of your major, how do you plan to further get involved in finance at your college and beyond?

CASH club started me on a journey to learn how one can use the financial industry to access goals otherwise inaccessible. Finance, when used properly, is one of the most powerful tools when searching for opportunities. These tools are most effective when used in support of potential opportunities. My goals include, building up assets to fund potential endeavors, enjoy financial freedom, save future spending (including retirement), and to build up a buffer for whatever emergency arises. After my initial impressions in the financial industry, it has become clear that with enough precaution, these goals can realistically be achieved; however, they will not occur immediately and require research, thoughtful investment, and patience; attributes which I have yet to master. In addition, I have found that online sources are an excellent way to continue learning about the financial industry; online content creators such as Graham Stephan provide free alternatives to becoming more versed about the stock market and finances. To further continue my journey to become financially literate, I plan to continue participating in similar clubs in college, and begin to gain some real world experience starting a small scale investment account.

Scenario: I'm a 9th grader considering CASH Club. Do your best job convincing me to join/start a club.

In your high school years, especially as a freshman, it is extremely unlikely that you will understand your interests completely. One of the easiest ways to explore new interests is through participation of different clubs. Clubs are offered for a variety of different interests and can always be created if you are unable to find a club that suits you. Counselors always stress the importance of joining extracurricular activities when giving advice on the college application process. This is because college admissions offices are expecting people that are searching for their passion and actively participating in their communities. Clubs are an excellent way to expand your college applications, and add factors that will distinguish you from other applicants in the future. They show dedication and willingness to explore outside your comfort zone. In addition to adding crucial depth to applications, clubs help you gain experience. For example, joining an officer position will teach you about leadership; a skill will help you beyond your teenage years. There are zero risks associated with participating in clubs. In the worst case scenario, you spend a couple of weeks in a club that disinterests you quickly, and learn more about what you are not interested in. In the best case scenario, you learn something about yourself that you never would have otherwise. The only way to learn about what you are interested in is through trial and error, and the simplest way to do that in high school is through clubs. As a 9th grader, it is very likely you are unsure about what you wish to pursue beyond high school, and the simplest way to learn more is to participate in clubs.