My humble beginnings…

26 Mar

In my early twenties, I only made $10/hour.  I stayed at my first job for three years without any raises.  Money was tight, but I would always sock away at least a few hundred a month.  In those years, I’ve managed to save $10,000 and help contribute to an investment property that I bought with my parents.  When I moved onto my next job, I had to buy a car to drive to work.  I wanted to buy a used car for around $10k, but my dad said it was better if I bought a new car.  This basically wiped out my savings and put me $14,000 in debt.  I took out a loan from my dad and Honda.  In three years, I fully paid off my debt in August 2009… that’s when I really got down to business with the market.

The stock market always intrigued me.  I’ve always wanted to open up a discount brokerage to trade stocks.  But I never really had the money to do so.  In 2003, my dad started me off with $2000.  My first two stock buys were 15 shares of Microsoft and 10 shares of Harley Davidson.  I ended up selling them down the road at breakeven due to my heavy ended $29/trade commission.  At that time, Apple was a dog and only trading at $7.50/share, if I only picked up 200 shares instead… and kept them to date.  My life would be so much easier!I

It’s been 9 years since I opened my first online brokerage account.  I’ve always kept afloat.  Never really making big plays.  When the market crashed in 2008, I held Starbucks and Visa.  Those were my two biggest holdings at that time.  Both of my stocks took a major 50% cut, I was down and out by several thousands.  For the longest time, I didn’t even look at my stocks.  I’d go months without looking at my portfolio.  I was hopeful it would make a rebound and kept my shares instead of selling them in a panick.  That strategy has helped me out tremendously to this day.

During 2008, I picked up a few stocks that I have made some money out of.  If I had kept them to date, my gains would have been higher.  Today, I still hold my Starbucks at over 195.29% gain.  Sad to say, I sold my Visa prematurely at a gain of 21.71%.  If I had kept my shares, I would have another 100% gain in my hands.

Buy and hold strategy has worked out for me.  Lately, I’ve been making more trades to actually capitilize on my gains before they get wiped out.  Every stock goes up and down in this volitile market, know when to let them go when it’s time before it’s too late.  I’ve made tons of mistakes along the way… selling off stocks at a loss in the thousands or selling too early to miss out on more gains.  But I’ve always managed to scrape by in the green.

If you’re just starting out, please go and open up a discount brokerage account.  Don’t be afraid!  Don’t pay $29/trade as I did in the early years… there are more online brokerages these days that offer better commissions.

4 Responses to “My humble beginnings…”

  1. Chris Neighbors March 26, 2012 at 2.33 #

    I think you’re right that it’s a bad idea to sell after you take a big hit. So many people do it, and all they do is lose money. I don’t believe in buying and holding stocks forever though. You can definitely come out on top if you choose the right stock, but you could also break even after 30 years. Unless I really believe in the company, I like to buy and hold it until I see a decent profit then move onto the next one. Good post.

  2. agentfang March 26, 2012 at 2.33 #

    Everyone has their own style of investing. Some are long term investors, some are frequent traders, some are day traders… We all strive for the same goal to see profits. You’re right about capitalizing your gains. I’ve had many times where I’ve held a stock at a decent gain for too long, only for the stock to stumble and fall into the red never to recover. Know when to let go of a stock. Never fall in love with one! Though, I do like my GQ 🙂 I might be keeping that for years to come. Only time will tell…

  3. Alex March 27, 2012 at 2.33 #

    one of my strategies is what my friend calls the ostrich method. if you’re having a bad day in the market, just close the browser and dont look at it for a few days =P

    its really hard to buy when nobody is buying. sometimes you just have to suck it up and say screw it, and just buy, because there is a point where more analysis wont help. its also important to not kick yourself on missed opportunities because more will come along.

  4. agentfang March 28, 2012 at 2.33 #

    Today, I feel like an ostrich! I bought on the wrong day!

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