Magazine article Black Enterprise

Wall Street: The Next Generation: James Perkins Jr. Aims to Make Investing Cool

Magazine article Black Enterprise

Wall Street: The Next Generation: James Perkins Jr. Aims to Make Investing Cool

Article excerpt

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HE IS ON A MISSION TO MAKE INVESTING COOL. JAMES Perkins Jr., the founder, CEO, and portfolio manager of Thrasher Funds, a New York City-based equities investment firm, wants to prove to members of Generations X and Y that investing should be a part of their repertoire--and that it can be fun.

Last October, the 3-year-old firm launched the GendeX (GENDX) fund. Thrasher's online marketing strategy aims at being relevant to a new generation of investors--using MySpace and Facebook because that's where young people make connections. Even Thrasher's Website hypes up the hip factor by showcasing a crowd of fashionable young people. Trendy soul music plays in the background and a message reads: "They invest. Do you?"

Prior to the launch of the fund, Thrasher ran a hedge fund and acted as an investment advisory business providing research about Gen X and Y to its clients. "There is no reason why investing can't be sexy. There is no reason why it can't be fashion-forward," says 29-year-old Perkins, a former analyst for ZBI Equities (Ziff Brothers Investments), a private hedge fund.

Perkins bases his rationale on what he calls the "demographic convergence thesis." Young people are making more money than they used to, he explains, and baby boomers want to become ageless. "Older generations and younger generations are starting to converge," he says, citing the similarities in the way the two demographics dress, use technology, and spend their leisure time as examples. …

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