Hmmm, what was I doing at age 17? Let's see - I was playing video games, eating junk food and hanging out with friends.
James Lanska, however, was certainly not looking for video game cheat codes during his off-time.
In a recent article published in Tesla's Customer Stories column, Lanska, a 17-year-old kid, tells the story about how he hustled the stock market and made enough cash to buy his very own Tesla Model S.
If this isn't all the inspiration you need to get through the week and start trading stocks, I'm not sure what is!
After dealing with a series of leg and foot injuries from playing soccer at the ripe age of 12, Lanska was forced to stay home and nurse himself back to good health. Since he was home and on the Internet all day, he decided to Google "how to get rich."
Lanska became fascinated with his findings, which included investor Warren Buffet's life story and tips on investing. At this point, this kid knew he found something he was willing to learn more about.
At the young age of 13, Lanska introduced the idea of investing in the stock market to his parents. They were obviously skeptical. I mean, when was the last time you heard about a 13-year-old looking to make some strategic moves on the market?!
I started pitching the idea of investing to my parents. Initially they were skeptical; after all, I was only 13, but after a constant barrage of information for several months my parents relented. It was all I would ever talk about: Tesla, Solar City, SpaceX, and Elon Musk. I opened my E-Trade account and invested my entire life savings in Tesla and Solar City. That was 2013, right before Tesla and Solar City exploded into Wall Street's consciousness.
E-Trade account in-hand, he earned the trust of his mother who offered to fund his account to start. The catch? Lanska had to manage it and manage it well. After all, it took months for his parents to finally give in.
Fast forward a couple of years and Lanska's doing pretty well.
After driving his mom's hand-me-down minivan, he began thinking up ways to bring a shiny new Tesla Model S into the family. If you thought getting his parents to let him play the stock market was tough, this was tougher.
The idea of a $100,000 car was completely out of the question for both of my practical parents. So, I extracted an agreement from Mom: If I made enough money in the investment account she funded, we would purchase the Model S. I reasoned, if I made the money in the investment account, it really wasn't costing her anything. She agreed. I was ecstatic. I immediately got to work.
Trade after trade, things began to look bright for young James.
In June 2015, Lanska finally made enough money to purchase the Tesla that kept him up at night. Furthermore, he lived up to his side of the agreement with his mom.
Lanska finally took delivery of his new Tesla last year, which he named after Batman's butler, Alfred.
So, what's he doing now aside from inspiring those who come across his story? Saving up for another Tesla, of course.
And this time, it's for mom!