As a high school kid I came home from work and asked my dad to ‘help me find a Ranger. I need four wheel drive.’ His wise response: “No son, why don’t you buy this stock.” Had I been allowed to blow my $3000 in savings on unnecessary consumption, my journey would have been very different.
I held that stock for a decade, adding shares twice along the way. The profits were nice. More importantly, I learned by actually reading the annual reports the company sent in the mail.
The previous year I had bought a stock for 11 5/8ths. It went down to like 10 1/4. I was extremely uncomfortable and could not take the heat. At 12 something I was out. And no, stocks have not always traded in decimals.
Years later I would sometimes hump an overnight third job scraping the wax off supermarket floors. On break the guys would buy $5 in junk food and gamble $50 at a time. Too much waste and too much risk for me. I had a bankroll to build! This indifference toward lemming like peer pressure speaks to my investment temperament.
Occasionally I would buy some shares in some Russell 2000 small cap I scoped out in Forbes or Smart Money magazine. Cisco? Never heard of it. Internet access meant hauling out the long phone cord. Few are even aware small cap value stocks were already depressed when the tech bubble peaked. I just bought what made sense to me and went my way.
See the ‘Nextel’ stock certificate in the header of my blog? Picking up pieces of the telecom bust in 2002 promoted me to a bigger league. I have a lot of experience with both smart and dumb things done in the stock market and I look forward to sharing them in the future.
I’ve been using the same broker since high school. I’ve never even had an online trading account. Just three months ago I started blogging and this is post #138.