Laura Pederson – Trader/Journalist/Author/Teacher

Laura Pederson was a self-made millionaire by age 21. She grew up in Buffalo, New York – where she lived with her parents during the 1970’s energy crisis and ‘stagflation’ days. In her book Buffalo Child, she paints a picture of herself as a wild child, learning to gamble and trade stocks while skipping classes in high school.

After one semester in college, she began work on the American Stock Exchange as a clerk but moved into a position as an indexed option trader due to another trader’s absence. She proved to be fast and accurate in calculations and trading in the pit. She built her clients portfolios as well as her own in about 2 years. In those 2 years, she earned a million dollars and became a partner in the firm of Spear, Leeds and Kellogg Investment Company.

She retired from trading in October 1989 – before she was 30, to write books and a New York Times column. She also worked for Joan Rivers and as a financial consultant before writing her second book (Street Smart Career Guide). Her first book, Play Money, is about her experiences on the exchange.

According to her official website (, today she is teaching at Booker T. Washington Learning Center in East Harlem, making personal appearances and continuing to write fiction.

She has been honored as one of the 10 Outstanding Young Americans by President Clinton (1994) and appeared as a guest on multiple shows such as Oprah.


Making a Million Before you are 30 by Meryl Davids

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