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Bryan Sims is the 20 year-old CEO and founder of brass|MEDIA Inc which publishes brass|CU, a money magazine for young adults. He has placed in the finals of several national business plan competitions and generated significant start-up capital to launch brass|MEDIA Inc. The first issue of brass|CU was released in February to 31,626 young adults across the country. TA: At what age did you first start getting interested in the market?  And what got you started?

Bryan: It was around 15.   My mom had just been in a car accident, the insurance companies weren't paying medical bills, and my family had no money. One day when my parents came home from a court deposition I decided I was going to start learning everything about business and investing. That way, I would be able to make enough money so that no one would be able to bully my family and friends around. Definitely not a traditional reason on why I got started, but hey, I needed money. TA: What do you consider your investing style to be? Bryan: It depends on what portfolio.  I have a Roth IRA and a normal account.  My IRA is usually a little more conservative than the other one. With the traditional one I'll usually invest in a company, and then follow it up with stop-loss orders. I usually try to stick to companies that interest me personally.TA: Any famous investors you look up to?  Why?Bryan: I'd have to say Warren Buffett, probably because he's part investor, part entrepreneur. I think a lot of investors understand finance really well, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they understand the business side of investing. Warren brings that real life experience to the table in his investments. TA: So you've started your own magazine.  What piqued your interest in doing this?Bryan: I've always been interested in money. In high school I started a teen investment club, and found that there were a lot of people like me who were interested in finding how to make more of it. The problem was that everything out there is so boring when it comes to business and finance. The magazine idea came about after the investment clubs as a way to make money interesting to people across the country. When I say make money interesting, I mean writing articles about LeBron James's $90M contract, hip-hop entrepreneurs, or the business side of Hollywood. It has to be interesting.

TA: What was the biggest obstacle you faced and how did you overcome it?Bryan: The biggest obstacle was raising the start-up capital in the middle of a recession, as a 19 year old teenager, with no college degree, and nothing more than a dream. However, people saw my passion for what I was doing, and knew that I would put everything I had into it. I overcame it by chasing anyone and everyone who had money, and networking with as many people as possible to raise the funds. Everyone knows someone that can be of use to you, you just need to figure out how to find them. TA: Tell us?what's the best part about running a magazine?Being able to say I run a magazine. I was thinking about this earlier today. So many times people ask the question, so what do you do? The response is always the same, and people fall asleep halfway through the answer. When this comes up and I say that I run a magazine, people can't believe it. It takes a few minutes for them to comprehend that I actually own and run the magazine. I guess the best part is the fact that it is different than what everyone else is doing, and people genuinely respect me for that. That just fuels my fire to make it that much bigger. Although I can't complain about being at all the photo shoots with the models and celebrities. TA: What are your plans for the future?5, 10, and 20 years out?Bryan: In 5 years I plan on having launched a national publication about money for young adults, similar to what Rolling Stone did with music. This will become the platform of a multimedia company geared towards young adults focusing on money, much similar to the way MTV created a platform for music and young adults. At 10 years we will have the publication, syndicated radio, syndicated TV shows, and hopefully I'll have a degree by then. At 20 years, I'll probably be dead due to lack of sleep and a heart attack. Actually, by then I hope to be ringing the bell on Wall Street. TA: Any books or movies you recommend?Bryan: I'm a huge Boiler Room fan. One of my favorite movies. I have the speech memorized, and if you don't already know what speech I'm talking about, go watch the movie. Wall Street is a classic movie. All of the Motley Fool books are pretty good at making money interesting and understandable. Rich Dad, Poor Dad will change the way you think about money, and A Good Hard Kick In The Ass is a must read for any entrepreneur.TA: Any last advice for our readers?Bryan: You don't have to graduate and gain "experience" like everyone always tells you. Do something so ridiculous that everyone around will think you're crazy. Run for office, publish a book, start a magazine. Those that think "Why can't I [insert dream here]?"will be successful.Bryan obviously has a lot of great ideas about business and investing.  For more of his ideas and ideas of other students across the country, be sure to check out his magazine brass|CU at www.brasscu.com

 

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