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Do I really need a High School Diploma?

  1. Nov 3, 2009 #1
    I'm currently in high school (17 years old), and I'm pretty much failing due to the lack of effort I put into school. Ever since I was 14, I've made up my mind about being an investor. Right now I'm currency trading and it looks like an ok income. But I also have plans to invest in Real Estate to build up my passive income. Seeing as how these things don't require a High School Diploma, and I've already stayed back twice, I was thinking of just dropping out. With that said, I'd like to hear everyone's input on this situation.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 3, 2009 #2


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    Personally, I don't think it's wise to ignore education no matter what one's goals are.

    What will you do when things don't work out the way you have planned? You will have nothing to put on a resume. It is not wise to think that you have any job security in this economy, no matter what your bosses are telling you.

    Get an education.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  4. Nov 3, 2009 #3
    Investing requires money, which no one will give you without a degree. Also, the vast majority of day traders end up losing all of the money in their accounts. The dollar has been tanking and the stock market has been rising for the past few months, but this is not a normal environment. I highly suggest doing whatever you can to establish a plan b.

    Oh also, the real estate "investing" you're probably talking about is all garbage. Millions of people have lost their jobs in unrelated industries in part as an indirect result of the recent explosion of flip this house types making irresponsible bets and going bankrupt. It's not the reliable income it's made out to be by those pushing books and training or otherwise seeking to take your money. It's a scam.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  5. Nov 3, 2009 #4


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    If you don't want to put in the effort to finish up something as simple as high school, how do you think you'd make it as an investor or being in real estate? How do you plan to accomplish anything? Do you already have a large financial basis in order to start investing in real estate?
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  6. Nov 3, 2009 #5
    "Passive Income" I have yet to see any income that didn't require some form of investment whether it be in terms of time or some form of capital. If you honestly have said to hell with high school then you better start preparing to educate yourself in SOMETHING that someone else will value enough to transfer their weath to you. My daugher dated one of those, high school dropout have never even taken an economics course, "investors" who through a whole lot of their savings down a hole using some red light/green light stock trading software. There is no minor league in investment of any kind, you are playing with pros who can see the easy money a mile away.
  7. Nov 3, 2009 #6
    Education is never a waste of time or energy. That being said, should your self-employment fail, you'll be screwed, to put it bluntly, if you drop out of high school. Let's put it this way - right now, it's a buyer's market for employers. There are a LOT of people unemployed and employers have the pick of the litter when it comes to applicants. For instance, I'm hiring a mechanical engineer right now. I've gotten seven applicants within the first 24 hours. 3 were put to the side right away because the other 4 had their MS and 10+ years experience where as the others only had the BS and 7 years experience at the most. Think about that and then think about where you'd rank on a list when you don't even have a high school education.

    Get your diploma and consider getting an economics degree or a business degree. You can continue investing and you'll better understand the world around you as you continue your education. Plus, that resume will be flushed out a little for the future.

    Or, if you don't like traditional high school, learn a trade. There's nothing dishonorable or embarrassing about earning an honest living with your hands. It's always something you can fall back on to put food on the table and a roof over your head.
  8. Nov 3, 2009 #7
    Why don't you just put the effort in and get your diploma (and maybe your bachelors while you're at it?)

    I can't see how you wouldn't want to know more about accounting, finance, and economics. You need college for that.
  9. Nov 3, 2009 #8
    What are you going to do, work in the warehouse and try to invest your earning?

    Education is the best form of investment.

    ~4 years of education = let's say $60 000 (tuition,living expenses) + $120 000 opportunity cost

    With an employable degree you should pull like $50 000 a year.

    50/160 ROI in one year. You do the math.
  10. Nov 3, 2009 #9


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    I might argue that advanced education isn't for everyone. In a lot of cases, you can actually end up with a much higher income with only a couple of years of training at a community college - not to mention you start earning a lot sooner, so by measure of accumulated wealth the college kids can often end up way ahead.

    But the question here isn't about advanced education. It's about high school. And I suspect that the original poster has a difficult time managing in a semi-rigid educational environment.

    My advice is simple - get through it any way you can. Completing high school is something that not everyone in the world has the chance to do and even successful people who have no education generally have a desire to have completed school.

    If you're interested in investing and want to learn on the street - that's fine. But there's no reason you can't do that while finishing school. And the education will just plain keep more opportunities open for you in the long run.
  11. Nov 3, 2009 #10
    This is advice from someone that works near a trading floor. You aren't investing right now. You are gambling. You might make some money, but eventually you are going to get wiped out, and don't confuse what you are doing with investing.

    Also unless you have $1 million and are dealing directly with a counterparty, you are getting screwed. If you are going through a broker, then they are making a transaction fee every time you make a trade. With FX, it's the brokers that make money, and you'll need at least $1 million to be a broker. If you aren't a broker, then you are just gambling.

    [q]But I also have plans to invest in Real Estate to build up my passive income.[/q]

    Again. I don't think that you are thinking about investing. Investing in real estate can be profitable but it's *extremely* hard work and there is nothing passive about real estate investing. If you are buying old houses, fixing them up, renting them out, then that's investing, but it's a ton of work. If you think you can get by just flipping houses, then that's gambling, and unless you are extraordinarily lucky, you are going to get wiped out.

    I think it's a horrible idea. Every professional investor that I know of has at least a master's degree. The markets are a harsh and unforgiving place, and if you don't get an education then they are going to chew you up and spit you out and you'll find your money in the pocket of someone that does have a high school diploma.

    There are some people that do have an innate gift for finance and investment, but even then you are better off staying in school. If you do have an innate gift for finance, then you can drop out, make nickels and dimes, or you can get an MBA and make totally insane amounts of money.
  12. Nov 6, 2009 #11
    Dont give up!

    I think high school is the BEST form of investment from a education standpoint. Think about it. How much does it cost the school district to put you though high school in a given year? If I did high school all over again, I would have put more effort into it. Screw what the other kids think! Seems culture in the states has failed to value education as that of other countries. As a result,
    the students are falling behind in "foundation learning skills" as high school. Stay in school. Find a group of students who would not put you down based on your learning difficulties, if you have them.

    I almost failed high school my self. Graduated with one extra credit and barely passed. Yet, I joined the USAF became a heavy lift helicopter mechanic then went to collage into avionics which, is a very hard program. The Economy in the early 90s went into a slump. Aviation was hit especially hard from the fact, it was deregulated. I
    had to make a choice, work..or go hungery. I applied as a automotive mechanic and did that for a number of years. Got tired of the incompetent mechanics and, it was a hard way to make a living. Went to collage again for software administration worked for Microsoft and other IT companies.

    I was like you in the early 90s. Spent alot of time locating the great real estate deals but, every time I perused investors, failed.

    All I can say is, you have FREE room and board. FREE education right now. Don't blow it, stay in school. Ask for help in getting though your academics! Remember, High school is a stepping stone, the basic foundation of a house. But you cannot build the rest of that house, without the foundation.

    Even today, in my 40s! some collage programs are asking for my high school diploma here in Canada. Could not believe it!
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2009
  13. Nov 6, 2009 #12
    There is a real need in today's economy for people to cut lawns, clean toilets, cook french fries, and collect shopping carts. If these career opportunities sound attractive to you, rejoice, since no high school diploma is needed.

    Other than that, better to stay in school and get your diploma. In the future, you can always complain how you really didn't need to learn any of that stuff.
  14. Nov 6, 2009 #13


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    Get your diploma at all costs. Stop screwing around, buckle down, and get it done. There will be time for you to do whatever you want after high school, but you'll need a diploma for most jobs and for anyone to take you as a serious investor.

  15. Nov 6, 2009 #14


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    I think we got trolled.
  16. Nov 6, 2009 #15


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    I would have expected to see a response by now if his intention was to troll, though. I'd say he's posting around the internet until he finds the answer he wants, hoping to justify his desire to give up.
  17. Nov 7, 2009 #16


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    There is already a ton of excellent advice and information here. The only thing I have to add to it is that what seems like crazy huge amounts of money to a high school student who doesn't need to do anything with it than stuff it into a bank or buy toys, often turns out to be a tiny drop in the bucket of what you really need to earn to be able to live independently, put a decent roof over your head, put food on the table, pay all the utility bills, cover the cost of transportation whether that's a car with maintenance, registration and insurance, or fares for public transportation, support a family, pay your taxes, pay for healthcare, etc.

    As others have pointed out, if you're going to make it on your own running your own business, you need to have the perseverance to stick out the rough times. If you don't have the self-discipline to even finish high school, it's unlikely you'll have the self-discipline to be successful in other areas of life.
  18. Nov 7, 2009 #17


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    The OP says he/she wants to 'invest' for a living yet is trading right now...

    High-school will definitely pay off for this young padawan(sp?)
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