‘Money to be made’: Meet the new retail investors flooding the market amid the pandemic

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Alexander says he’s up 13 per cent.

 

The Scientist

Margaret Wozniak, 26, embryologist

Best move: Bought Kosmos Energy Ltd. at US$0.87 and holding at US$1.66

Margaret Wozniak had no clue what was happening in the stock market before March. She had no financial background or knowledge to speak of. After all, she spent her early life studying science to become an embryologist. One of the first things she’d do after a buying a new phone was to delete the stocks app.

That all changed when Wozniak was furloughed from her job. The one thing she did know about stocks is that when a recession hits, they go down. Having done nothing with her life savings up until this point, she was gifted with a golden chance to put it to work.

A four-day cram session followed. When she started, she didn’t even know she could buy stocks herself. Now, she has a diversified portfolio made up of Royal Bank of Canada, TD, Restaurant Brands International Inc., Suncor and U.S. stocks Coca-Cola Co. and Visa Inc. She wouldn’t say how much she’s invested, only revealing that she’s placed 80 per cent of her savings in her online brokerage account and is currently up 20 per cent.

“I still don’t think I know what I’m doing, fully, but I’m just lucky things turned out the way they did,” Wozniak said.

 

The Whiz Kid

Jayden Smit, 19, part-time grocery store worker

Best move: Bought Champignon Brands Inc. at $0.22 and sold at $1.07

Jayden Smit has been watching the markets since September, when “the end of the pot stock era” caught his eye. Smit wanted to learn to understand the charts and started asking an older friend, who is a daytrader, questions about how to trade. After five months of learning, his friend lent him enough money to begin a portfolio.

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