Local teen takes adults to school at financial conferenceWritten by Casey Harper | | firstname.lastname@example.org
More than 90 people paid $249 each to hear leading experts on finance and the future of America’s economy at the Liberty Mastermind Symposium in Dallas. That’s when 17-year-old Elijah Johnson took the stage.
“I did a couple of plays before so I knew kind of what it felt like,” Johnson said. “After the first couple of minutes I felt really good about it and was more comfortable being there and speaking in front of people.”Johnson was one of 15 speakers at the June 28-29 event. Johnson, who is home-schooled, spoke on the problems with public education and the benefits of home-schooling in a speech titled “Homeschooling: The Ultimate Liberty of Learning.”
“You think critically about everything you take in when you’re home-schooled,” he said. “It’s not so much of a factory setting. With home-schooling you can take learning seriously. Instead of reading endlessly about Yellowstone National Park, we took a field trip to experience it.”
Johnson was the youngest speaker at the event. He hasn’t finished high school but he started a YouTube channel two years ago. His channel, Finance and Liberty, has more than 200 videos and nearly a million total views.
“I’ve been interested in money and monetary systems pretty much my whole life,” Johnson said.
Robert Ian and Kerry Lutz, who organized the inaugural symposium, said they plan to have Elijah back for their next conference in Las Vegas from Jan. 24-25. Ian said many in the audience had watched Johnson’s YouTube channel.
“I think people were very impressed with Elijah’s presentation and his intellect and his knowledge and the way he asks questions and organizes information,” Ian said.
Ian said the conference brought in several speakers, each with their own niche in the financial world.
“An important fact to know is that if you go to conferences similar to this, the demographics are 75 percent of the people are 50 and up,” he said. “The younger generation really hasn’t gotten into the topic of gold or silver. What Elijah brings is he opens up a whole generation to these topics we discussed.”
Johnson’s parents said they saw his interest in money from a young age. He started a coin collection at age 4 and showed interest in cash registers and later small business ventures like lemonade and hot dog stands.
“Well, obviously we’re proud of his accomplishments because he is able to interact with adults in a world that was not familiar to us and one that we could not introduce to him but that he is able to function on a level that is able to help a lot of people in our community as well as in the country and around the world,” said Elijah’s father Lee Johnson.
Elijah’s parents said they encouraged him to pursue his interest and took him on field trips to learn more.
“When he started asking us questions that we couldn’t answer … my husband just said that you need to do a report on this,” said Elijah’s mother Susan Johnson. “He ended up educating us.”
Elijah made a discovery in the summer of 2011 that surprised him and fed his passion for finance.
“I learned that the Federal Reserve creates our money and that it is privately owned by the banks it is supposed to be regulating, so I was shocked and I wanted to protect myself from what is pretty much a scam the Federal Reserve is running,” he said. “I wanted to share the reality with other people so that they could wake up to where our financial system is headed, what the Federal Reserve actually is and how they’re basically confiscating wealth from savers through inflation.”
Johnson is considering becoming a news show host or a radio host.
“Originally when I first got into finance, I was possibly thinking financial broker,” he said. “Then with my YouTube channel doing really well and learning how to interview people, I thought I could continue to do that and even have my own radio show.”
For more information, visit Elijah’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/FinanceAndLiberty.