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Engineering Student Hones Financial Wizardry

By Kate Kurtin

When sophomore Nishang Gupta (ME) was in the 9th grade, his father suggested a father-son activity — together, the two men began to invest money in the stock market. Through many tests and trials, what started as $30,000 tripled in size before Nishang had graduated from high school. This was just the motivation both men needed to stick with it.

Around the time of Nishang’s financial development, he was enrolled in E.O. Smith High School and became a member of the E.O. Smith Cool It team; a program started by physics teacher and former UConn professor Dr. Gary Bent, as a way to teach students about the school’s carbon footprint. By learning about renewable energy and ways to reduce the school’s energy spending, Nishang became increasingly interested in alternative energy and sustainability as ways to save money and cut costs. Nishang states confidently, “Alternative energy is the greatest investment opportunity of my time.”

These interests continued to percolate even after Nishang entered UConn as freshman intent on completing double degrees in mechanical engineering and finance. Upon graduation, Nishang says, his dream job would be to manage a mutual or hedge fund that focuses on clean and sustainable energy. To ensure his future, last year Nishang and fellow E.O. Smith grad (now a Yale sophomore) Alex Milvae co-founded Nishex Investments, LLC to introduce young consumers to the world of investing while simultaneously growing their wealth. Admitting he is still young and finds “everything interesting,” Nishang has certainly created a solid track for himself.

In rare moments of spare time, Nishang wrote and published a book for the next generation of stock market investors. Thanks to his market successes, he found that many of his friends were interested in stock and investment tips. Through discussions with his father and documenting his strategies for his own reference, Nishang decided that instead of telling his friends what to do, he would teach them how to do it. He accomplished his goal last year by penning a 75-page treatise titled, “Investing for the Fair-Weather Fan” (Publish America, 2008).

In addition to engineering and investing, Nishang has a keen interest in basketball, particularly the New York Knicks. Using sports references and analogies gleaned from his knowledge of basketball, he wrote the book in a manner sure to appeal to young people. “Investing can be intimidating,” Nishang explains, “so I tried to relate it to something that they already knew and could understand.”

The basketball connection doesn’t end there; Nishang plans to donate the proceeds from his book sales to the New York Knicks’ Allan Houston Legacy Foundation, which is dedicated to helping New York City’s underserved students develop business and entrepreneurial skills to better themselves for the future. As a bonus, Nishang hopes to one day personally deliver a check to Houston for the foundation.

To justify his hard work and dual degree efforts, Nishang clarifies that investing in alternative energy is not yet a clearly defined field, and that having a background in both disciplines will allow him to take full advantage of the forthcoming opportunities.