June 24, 2017
Cy-Fair alumnus Chris Kiklas’s co-authored investment book, “Rich On Fifty,” released on the Amazon Kindle on May 4.
By Ethan Roebuck and Mason Cheney, Cy-Fair HS
June 24, 2017—Chris Kiklas, a 1994 Cy-Fair High School graduate, and his team of investors have discovered that someone with no history in investing can still create a fun and rewarding experience out of it.
During the 2008 recession, Kiklas and his team each wrote 20 questions they had about investing and discussed them as a group. From these recorded conversations, many ideas and principles of investing were formed.
The result was a book, “Rich On Fifty,” co-authored by Jan Johnson and Jason Smith, which was published on May 4. Available on Kindle with a paperback version planned for the future, the book instructs beginning investors on how to build wealth through investment clubs with friends.
“I don’t look at business, investing or anything else from a ‘business’ perspective; that’s not what my background is,” Kiklas said. “My background is looking at lots of different things and figuring out what’s going to work, and taking that approach into business.”
Each year since 2008, Kiklas’s investment club has beat the S&P 500, “a collection of 500 companies that get lumped in and they track [their progress.] The companies that are generally successful measure their performance against the average rate of return for these S&P stocks. It’s kind of like a benchmark to grade yourself against,” he said.
In this 8- to 15-member club, each individual puts down $50 to invest in shares. The group discusses companies that interest them, including what companies stand for and have the potential for gaining value. When a company has been decided upon, the collective money is used to purchase shares at a very low impact to each person.
His group has previously invested in exponentially growing companies such as Tesla and Netflix. Their Apple investment of $400 turned into a $1,000 value in one year.
He and his team are also preparing an online course for the late summer that will take a potential investor step-by-step through the process. Outside of investing, Kiklas has also served as a president for a software company in Houston and as a CEO for a company in the Philippines.
Kiklas credits much of his success in life to his time at Cy-Fair High School, where he learned to have a “just do it” attitude. He maintained a busy schedule, including extracurricular activities such as marching band, French club and the National Honor Society.
“I think what was valuable in Cy-Fair,” Kiklas said, “it’s not every school that has a journalism department, or that has a band and an orchestra, or that teaches languages that aren’t just Spanish.”
Kiklas encouraged young people to gain an understanding of investing as soon as they can so they can begin saving and handling money intelligently, with long-term goals in mind to keep things in perspective as they go through high school.
“It’s only four years,” Kiklas said. “[You can] get through it.”
He also mentioned that he still feels a lot of connection and pride with Cy-Fair, a spirit that is unlike any other school he knows of.
“Without the education that I received in Cy-Fair, from first grade through my senior year, I would not be the person I am today, and that includes writing this book,” he said.