Economics club frenzy

Recent hype around stocks and cryptocurrency leads to creation of new clubs


Arman Nikmorad

McCrypto club meetings record massive turnout despite the pandemic. Meetings are held through Google Meet and led by founder Arman Nikmorad.

Noah Barnes, Reporter

With COVID-19 forcing students to spend more time at home, there has been more time for several new clubs to be formed, especially in the economic branch. The stock market has taken a turbulent turn through the forced lockdown with many businesses struggling to stay afloat. The large dropoff and subsequent rebounding of stocks higher than ever before has led to many “overnight millionaires.”

Other new, interesting forms of currency, most notably Bitcoin, have also led to many making huge fortunes. This promise of money has led to many students at McLean becoming interested in learning how to profit from stocks and cryptocurrency.

“I co-founded this club, McLean Financial Market Analysis Organization, a.k.a ‘McFMAO’ to teach people interested in the stock market how to make decisions related to their financial future, risk management, and how to analyze trends using charts,” junior Charles Tang said.

The McFMAO club, however, was not the first economic club to form at McLean.

“I originally joined McLean Investment Club at the beginning of the year, because that was the only club available that was about economics and the stock market,” Tang said.

Complications between Tang’s priorities and the McLean Investment Club led to him and a few of his friends branching off to form their own club.

“The Investment Club focuses mainly on long-term trading, and entertainment purposes,” Tang said. “I wanted an experience more geared towards day and swing trading, with more lucrative opportunities.”

McFMAO hosted an investment simulation where members would be given $10,000 in play money to invest in the stock market. The person with the highest profit at the end of the competition will be awarded a $50 gift card.

Junior Gabe Deleonardis was also involved in founding the club.

“I am excited to teach all I have learned about the stock market and financial trends to the members,” Deleonardis said. “The goal of this club is not to get super rich, although that is a possibility in the future. The goal is to educate these people how to navigate making high risk trades for high reward.”

Cryptocurrency is also a topic with fast gaining relevance. The hype and idea of potential wealth surrounding cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin has led to high demand for a club centered around this topic. After much anticipation, McCrypto, the sister club to McFMAO was formed.

“I wanted to start this club along with Zach Hasan in order to bring more awareness to cryptocurrency,” junior Arman Nikmorad said. “This form of payment is the future, and it is crucial that students at McLean get involved in this as soon as possible.”

Cryptocurrency is much more than just an online currency. There are certain intricacies that go into “mining” and encrypting Bitcoins to make them safe to use and prevent hackers from stealing the online money.

“Bitcoin is definitely a complicated thing. The whole concept of cryptocurrency can be very confusing to people, especially those new to it,” Nikmorad said. “This is why Zach and I wanted to start the club, to teach people about this very important form of money. It is the future, after all.”

In fact, the club and the topic surrounding it is so complex that the club offers an astounding number of leadership positions. 22 people have been appointed to various jobs to help with the workload. The jobs vary from the traditional “secretary” to the more novel “head of gains” to push the club agenda forward.

“This club is much more advanced than what meets the eye,” Nikmorad said. “I assure you, each and every position is absolutely vital to the club’s success, [and we often] assemble intricate presentations that require [full effort].”

McCrypto does not just educate members about Bitcoin, it also offers students the opportunity to express their opinions and newfound knowledge in debates.

“The debates can get heated at times. Each of the 80 members of our club have a passion for learning about cryptocurrency,” junior Zach Hasan said.

The newfound spark for financial literacy from McLean students foreshadows a bright future ahead for those involved.

“Stocks and Bitcoin are most certainly the future,” Nikmorad said “We are excited to share our knowledge with every member of our club.”