- Elliott skipped two grades during elementary school.
- At only 8 years old, he followed a paleontology course at McGill University.
- He published his book “Elliott’s Guide To Dinosaurs” that same year.
- Elliott joined the Westmount Youth Orchestra and became its youngest member.
- He recently found an interest in stocks and helped his father turn a considerable profit with Gamestop.
At only 14 years old, Elliott Seah has written a book, skipped two grades, ranked third in Canada among cellists in his age group, and is currently in secondary five (the equivalent of Grade 11) at Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf. Before he was even able to speak, Elliott was already reading books, showing signs of a prodigy at merely two years old.
Throughout his childhood, his intellectual capabilities were strongly fostered by his entourage, allowing him to excel at all his endeavours – his age never being a barrier. The rhythm at which his schooling progressed was too slow for Elliott, and the only solution that came to be was to have him skip a grade. In fact, after grade 1 and the first two semesters of grade 2, Elliott went directly to grade 3. He followed the same process and skipped grade 4. While his intellectual acuity blossomed, he struggled a little at first in his social life. Nevertheless, in his own words, “skipping two grades was the best possible academic decision that I could have taken.”
Although he was much younger than his classmates, the advanced syllabi weren’t sufficient to quench Elliott’s thirst for knowledge in spheres beyond the prescribed curriculum. Finding other ways to develop his mind truly sets his unique skill set apart from those beside him.
Following the development of his reading and language skills, he naturally shifted his focus to a more ludic discipline: paleontology. Elliott’s fervor for dinosaurs was sparked by a simple Christmas present: an encyclopedia on dinosaurs.
Rather than gathering dust, the present quickly became an object of fascination. Elliott was left with plenty of free time, as being a regular student “continued to bore [him]”. Considering his parents’ reasonable apprehension in skipping another grade, he sought many ways to further pursue intellectually-stimulating activities. Soon enough, at the age of eight, partaking in courses with seasoned paleontologist Hans Larsson at McGill University was added to his weekly schedule. Although he was surrounded by much older students, Elliott was undaunted. “It was nice. It was my level.”
After pursuing these lessons for close to a year, Elliott recognized that with a synthesized presentation, the content taught to him could be compelling to a large stratum of his age group. Hesitating between recording a series of video-clips and authoring an informative book, Elliott opted for the latter as it allowed him to achieve his goal while exploiting his literary proficiencies. Thus began the eight-year-old’s tenure as a writer. After one and a half years, he published his book, Elliott’s Guide to Dinosaurs, which is now available in 5 different countries and in three languages.
Having written a book and skipped two grades, Elliott sought after another feat: mastering the cello. First grasping the instrument at the age of four, he joined the Westmount Youth Orchestra a year later and was their only five-year-old musician. Throughout primary school, Elliott’s passion for music only grew as he practiced three to four hours daily. Very early on, he developed perfect pitch (aptitude to identify any note without a reference), yet another asset to his musical career. While his proficiency in cello certainly had its advantages, it wasn’t all sunshine and daisies. “There were definitely negative sides. For example, the pressure of going to nationals a couple of times, where I came third in my age category twice.” Nevertheless, as a means to release all the stress from the cello, Elliott took on fencing in fifth grade. He wasn’t as serious about it as music, but still managed to rake up a dozen silver and bronze medals at various fencing tournaments including the provincials. “Sports are a good way to relax,” he says, “whether it’s fencing, running or anything else.”
Newfound Interest in Stocks
One would think Elliott was fully occupied from an educational standpoint, but nevertheless his latest accomplishments have yet to be mentioned. He continues to impress, and showcased his endowment for stock analysis in a recent, once in a blue moon occurrence. January 2019 marked the date Elliott’s father first introduced him to the market. From that point on, amidst the mountain of activities he was already involved, stock research became another field of interest. Studying the tendencies, the news, and the charts, he continued to deepen his understanding while discussing potential investments with his father. “I’d do some research. For example, if there’s a company that I heard had good earnings or if there was a new press or product release. Obviously, my dad would have the final say on it, but I’d look into it, present him a list of pros and cons for investing in a company, and that’s how he would decide.” In fact, Elliott’s research bore fruit in a very lucrative way during the past couple of weeks.
Several months prior, drawing comparisons with the “Volkswagen short-squeeze”, the byproduct of the 2008-2009 stock market crash, Elliott found potential in GameStop.
“If there were to be a catalyst, this company could absolutely blow up.”
When he first saw the stock appear on r/wallstreetbets, he immediately added it to his watchlist. In the following weeks, with GameStop on his radar, he paid close attention to the news, looking for relevant information. Perspicacious by nature, certain details such as the induction of a new board member (Ryan Cohen) caught his eye. Soon noticing the floor at $40, he and his father transferred a large part of their portfolio to GameStop. “Every day I’d wake up at 5, 6 A.M to check the pre-market.” Throughout the process, Elliott described feeling “obviously very happy making this much cash” for his father, but also “fearful, stressed, anxious” with the threat of potentially losing it all.
“This was by a long shot my biggest investment. I had never put so much into one position. Then again, I had never been so convinced it would work. It was nothing like I’d ever seen before.”
The Seahs do not wish to disclose the sum gained from GameStop, but hints at a relatively large figure. Following his latest success, Elliott continues to take interest in stocks and is currently participating in Bourstad, a virtual trading competition gathering over a thousand high school contestants from all over Quebec. To foster his passion for the stock market, he will pursue math and finance at Marianopolis College. With his mind constantly at work, one can only imagine what is in store for Elliott Seah.
Photos courtesy of Elliott Seah