A newsmaker you should know: Teen investing phenom Pottmeyer wins StockPickr contest

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Alex Pottmeyer is a whiz at investing. He already handles his parents' finances and his own hedge fund, which may be a bit unusual because he is still a teenager.

Mr. Pottmeyer, 19, recently won an international contest sponsored by StockPickr and TheStreet.

The competition "The Next Great StockPickr was open to college and graduate students. Competitors had to make a one-minute video analyzing a stock that the student believed would show the most growth in a year.

Mr. Pottmeyer won the contest and was flown to New York City to visit the New York Stock Exchange, watch a taping of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street," and met Jim Cramer, TheStreet's founder and chief markets commentator.

While he competed with older students with far more education under their belts, Mr. Pottmeyer has been investing since he was 14, so it wasn't anything new for him.

"My grandfather first got me stated. I started cutting grass and saving my money, then I started investing. It became my passion," he said.

Mr. Pottmeyer produced a video about the Apache Corp., a small company that he felt was going to produce well in the next year.

"It was a company that I found that others haven't really covered. I wanted something different than everyone else," he said.

Mr. Cramer said in a news release that Mr. Pottmeyer's video portrayed exactly what he was hoping for from competitors.

"Mr. Pottmeyer's video submission on Apache was the perfect combination of a well-though out thesis along with enthusiasm and energy," he said.

Mr. Cramer was so impressed with Mr. Pottmeyer's work, he asked him to write a piece how he discovered Apache.

In addition to his all expenses paid trip to New York City, Mr. Pottmeyer also won a year's subscription to The Chairman's Club, TheStreet's package of services and The Deal Pipeline, a transaction information service to assist investors.

"This really helps you learn how investors think," said Mr. Pottmeyer.

A huge fan of Mr. Cramer's, Mr. Pottmeyer said the trip was an education itself.

"It was a dream come true for me. I watch him every night and read all of their publications. It was amazing to meet him in person and to learn so much from him," he said.

Mr. Cramer was so impressed with Mr. Pottmeyer, he asked him to continue writing various pieces to try to get other young people interested in investing. The articles are then posted on Mr. Cramer's website.

Mr. Pottmeyer is a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in finance and accounting. He hopes to return next summer to New York City, this time with an internship. After he graduates, he hopes to work as an analyst for one of the major banks.

In the meantime, he hopes to keep investing wisely for his parents, Carla, a teacher, and Jerry, a lawyer. And of course, for himself.

"Investing truly is a passion of mine. And getting to go to New York and meet Mr. Cramer has really helped me. It was so interesting to see how his mind works -- I loved it," Mr. Pottmeyer said.


Kathleen Ganster, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com. First Published October 17, 2013 1:34 AM


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