His background is in selling Star Wars collector’s cards and his major is sociology, but Jeff Gill, a fourth-year at UCSB, has a stock trading website that has made him approximately $40,000 since April.
The website, www.boonmarket.com, helps small, publicly traded companies gain exposure. Gill said the companies contact him, and he promotes their stock by sending e-mails and posting information and advertisements on the Internet. If the stock shares for the company rise, the company gives him money.
At 22, Gill is not only a student and a successful website manager, he is also happily married and teaches guitar and bass lessons in his free time. When he graduates in eight months, Gill said, he wants to manage the website and stock deals full-time. Currently, however, he said he is mainly concerned with the site’s foundation, and hopes that creating a firm structure will lead to endless possibilities for his business in the future.
“People have no idea that [the owner is] a 22-year-old student in his pajamas on the couch, eating cereal and watching ‘Saved by the Bell,'” Gill said.
If his business plans do not carry through as expected, Gill said he will continue to give guitar lessons until he can find a more successful track for this website. However, if his business plans do work out, he expects to earn over $100,000 during the next year.
“The scary thing is if it works out, I can make a sickening amount of money, but it’s the Internet,” Gill said. “Who knows how things are going to change in the next couple of years.”
Gill said he decided to major in sociology because the subject interested him, despite it having little relevance to his career, and he is hoping to fulfill all major requirements in time to graduate in June. He said he is not interested in working for Wall Street because of all the “money-hungry people.”
“I chose sociology because it was somewhat interesting, but not for a career, just to get a degree in something,” Gill said.
Gill said his prior business experience is limited and stems from a variety of sources.
During middle school, Gill said he collected “Star Wars” trading cards and when he decided to sell them on the Internet, he constructed a website and earned $300. Gill said this endeavor, in addition to an elective class he took in high school on web design, has been the only training he has had concerning the Internet and financial markets.
Along with this experience, Gill said he gained the necessary skills to launch his own business by observing a professional in this line of work for about two weeks. He said he was also inspired by mathematics.
Gill said he is currently looking for a group of Santa Barbara students to get involved with the stock picks. The endeavor could be quite lucrative, he said, and all individuals interested in getting involved or investing should e-mail him at email@example.com.