On Friday morning, Rocky Moh sat in front of his home computer and spoke into a $600 microphone.
He talked about retirement funds, investment calculators and “leveraging your growth.” He spoke slowly in his low, baritone voice, but he was typing like mad.
His cursor jumped all over the screen, cutting and pasting bits of sounds, images and slices of video.
After about 40 minutes, Moh announced he was finished and he was ready to post his latest creation: A new video for his YouTube channel “Rocky Finance.”
His channel focuses on the stock market, investment strategies, stock price predictions and analysis. He has nearly 7,000 subscribers.
Rocky Moh is 17.
‘I was just bored’
Moh, a senior at Elsie Allen High School in Santa Rosa, got into finance videos and created his channel when the pandemic took hold two years ago.
“I was just bored like a lot of kids in quarantine,” he said.
When he was younger, he’d made gaming videos, but this was something completely different. He wanted to learn something new, he said.
“I saw the stock market was going up and I wanted to explore it further,” he said.
So he started watching and reading up on the stock market, cryptocurrency and financial literacy.
He decided to launch his own channel.
The name isn’t a tongue-in-cheek reference to the hurly-burly world of the stock market, it’s a simple play on Moh’s first name.
And, he said, he couldn’t think of anything else.
“Rocky Finance” was born.
He’s clearly onto something.
His 300 or so videos since 2020 have pulled in about 700,000 total views.
His viewership — he has pulled in 5,000 viewers on some posts — has drawn attention from an agent of sorts that led to endorsement videos for at least two companies.
And although he spends a good deal of time studying the market and boning up on trends, Moh makes it clear: This is all just for fun.
Under each video he posts a disclaimer: “I am not a financial advisor. The content I create should not be considered financial advice, and is for entertainment purposes only!”
‘Hit that subscribe button’
His studio is his second floor bedroom in his family’s southwest Santa Rosa home. His $600 microphone was purchased with proceeds from his investments and was a tax write-off.
Using backgrounds that hide any sign of his room, he can crank out a 10-minute video in 40-60 minutes.
An aficionado of other finance channels, he said he tries to drop in visual aids and “extras” that are missing from typical stock market posts. He makes videos he’d like to watch.
And he comes off like a pro.
On a recent intro to a video on cryptocurrency, Moh had the tone of a seasoned stock market veteran.
“It’s crazy how times have changed, but we have to adapt as investors,” he told listeners. “Bringing you guys new opportunities is something that I always want to do and that is going to be metaverse and crypto today.”
But then he drops in phrases that are distinctly youthful, like “Make sure to hit that subscribe button for your boy.”
I asked if anyone calls into question his expertise, considering his youth.
He said no one knows how young he is and that his voice makes him sound older than a high school senior.
Moh said he makes videos when inspiration strikes. He does not have a regular “drop” schedule.
Over the summer, he was all over it, posting multiple videos per week. During this school year, he’s slowed down a bit.
Plus, he wants to keep it fun.
And he doesn’t consider this work or any kind of career development. He doesn’t even see himself working in finance at any point.
He’s considering San Jose State and Sonoma State where he is thinking about studying computer science or marketing, respectively.
His education future might be not be crystal clear, but he is clear about at least one facet of his motivation.
“I like money,” he said.
“Rocky Finance” has been profitable, but he keeps his own investment portfolio close to the vest.
“I’m not a millionaire,” he said. “It’s a bit of money. Not too much. To help me with school.”
And whatever comes next.
You can reach Staff Columnist Kerry Benefield at 707-526-8671 or [email protected]. On Twitter @benefield.