Sam Cook left school with just two GCSEs and struggled with maths…
But, after dad lent him £2K, has now made £17.5 million trading stock market
Has just treated himself to a £170K Ferrari, lives in a waterfront flat in Plymouth and is worth millions…
Sam Cook – one of the most down-to earth and insightful teenagers I have had the pleasure of dealing with – came to Featureworld after turning £2K from his dad into £17.5 million… and I placed his extraordinary story in The Sun.
While most 18 year olds are fretting about exam grades and university, Mr Cook has become a multi-millionaire – after trading in stocks and shares from a bedroom computer.
The young entrepreneur, who left school with just two GCSEs began dabbling on the markets less than a year ago after his father Peter gave him £2000 savings to invest.
That investment quickly turned into £17.5 million in stocks. And now, Mr Cook has not only paid his father back with interest – but has bought his parents Rolex watches for Christmas totalling £20,000.
The son of an engineer father and mother who works as a nurse, Mr Cook first became interested in stocks and shares during his early teens.
He says: ‘It fascinated me how the prices of food in the supermarkets changed over months or even weeks. My dad was always explaining to me how the price of tea might change depending on how good the harvest was, how good the weather was.
‘I enjoyed predicting how much prices would change and often found I was right.’
Aged 16 Mr Cook, from Plymouth, Devon, left his school with two GCSEs, a grade C in Geography and B in English.
He says: ‘I never enjoyed formal lessons at school. I was dyslexic and just didn’t find much of what was taught relevant to real life. I took five GCSEs but unfortunately I gained Ds in three of them.’
Fascinated by the import and export industry he attempted to set up a company importing gold bullion.
But when that failed, he turned to trading at home, practicing his skills using a ‘dummy trading’ website that allows would-be investors to play the international markets without using real money.
‘Within weeks I was making a fortune – but unfortunately it was in imaginary currency.”
It was then in January dad Peter, 47, stepped in, giving him £2000 to invest.
‘After three weeks that £2000 had grown to £23,000 and within four weeks it was £50,000. Two weeks after that I made six million on some hedge funds and within three months the profit on my dad’s investment was nine million.’
He adds, “Even dad was surprised. He originally hails from Yorkshire and grew up in a family of miners. He was brought up believing you physically worked very hard for every penny and found it hard to understand how I could make tens of thousands in minutes.
‘Dad also basically said if I couldn’t make a decent profit then he expected me to get a ‘proper’ job.
‘But I knew I wouldn’t let him down and was sure I’d be able to pay him back with interest.’
Mr Cook uses spread betting on markets throughout the world – wagering on the outcome of an event where the pay off is based on the accuracy of his wager or predictions. His portfolio is currently valued at almost £17.5million and having moved into offices, he is now investing money for private clients.
A typical day begins at 4am when Mr Cook, who pays himself a ‘small’ salary of £12,000 a month and recently bought his first car – a £170,000 Ferrari – switches on his eight computers.
He says: “The first thing I do is read all the news websites. I don’t trade on ‘hunches’ or ‘good feelings’ about any company – I only trade following solid research. So I immediately look at what’s happening in the world as this has a huge impact on the markets.
‘For example the recent ebola outbreak has brought markets down in some areas but will fuel growth in others. It is identifying the areas of potential growth before they happen that is key – and then having the confidence and courage to actually act on your predictions.’
By 8pm time Mr Cook is switching off his computers.
He says: ‘I could pay myself more money but I keep it invested in the market as it makes more money that way. Although I have paid dad’s original loan back, he is more than happy to let me continue to reinvest it.
‘Needless to say I am going to thank my parents with a special Christmas present this year and have bought them a Rolex watch each. It makes a change to be able to give them a really lovely present as last Christmas I gave them a bread maker.’
Mother Deanna, 49, said: ‘Samuel’s father and I are stunned by what Samuel has done. He struggled so much at school and his success seems surreal. But we always believed in him. He works so hard and we are just incredibly proud.’
Footnote: Since reporting of Sam Cook’s claims in his story, he admitted creating the illusion of wealth to swindle £110,000 from investors. Ironically it was reports in newspapers that led detectives to investigate after they noticed his ‘Ferrari’ car was a fake. He was jailed for more than two years.
Alison says: “Stories are always checked out as thoroughly as possible by newspapers, magazines and TV and Sam Cook produced papers and documents that claimed to show he was genuine. We now know he also provided the same paperwork to a number of people who invested money with him believing Sam was legal and bona fide. And ultimately journalists are not the police, a judge or a jury but there to report what people say.
“This story shows how very important it is that when you decide to tell your story to a newspaper or magazine you never lie or elaborate on the truth or the resulting publicity could be your undoing.”
Featureworld was contacted by the Police in relation to this prior to Sam Cook’s court appearance and confirmed that he never asked for any money and was never paid for his story.