From a young age I was destined to be an entrepreneur and business enthusiast. I always had a sense of organization clarity, direction, and purpose that I was naturally seeking to fulfill. Stock Trading was something that seemed appealing on the outside and almost a lifestyle choice when I saw it as an 18 year old. It wasn’t until the summer of my freshman year in college where my interests really began to peak. I was bored, eager, and ready for the next level.
I remember the spring semester walks to the Haworth College of Business my Freshman year at WMU where the stock tickers were present in the center of the college at the Greenleaf Trust Trading Room. It really confirmed my love for the stock market and learning more about investing in my spare time. From there I majored in sales and business marketing to gain more professional experience and corporate presence, however kept my studies in business very broad.
I remember hearing that the Greenleaf Trust Trading Room was installed as a collaborative unit within the Haworth College of Business in 2014. The Robert J. Kaiser Sales Lab was installed in 2018 my senior year. I remember thinking how amazing and new it looked as my business career began. A teenager full of enthusiasm and nativity, little did I know where I could take my career.
The summer of my freshman year I was looking for work in business and at the very least to learn something valuable about business that I could take into what was ahead. That turned out to be learning about stock trading and long-term investment research. It was the most intriguing thing to me that you could own equity in a company through individual shares.
I will admit that at times when I should have been studying during the semester I was researching financial markets and discussing these topics with like-minded individuals at WMU. Looking back I have determined that certain subjects peaked my interest which I could easily relate to public financial markets.
My father always told me to save 10% of my earnings after debts are paid off. So a portion of that 10% goes into my short-term savings and the other percentage of the funds go into my Roth IRA. This allows me to ‘pay myself first’ which is a core principle in my personal finance and investing strategy. I discuss more on this principle in my blog post 7 Basics to Personal Finance: Millennial & Gen X Edition.
When you have the freedom to invest real funds into the stock market that’s when the fun begins for most with myself included. When I was a freshman I had saved up enough money from my window cleaning job to begin investing in the E-Trade platform I was using (Options House at the time).
My first step was opening a trading platform and transferring money into the brokerage account from my bank account. I then browsed the dashboard and explored the suggested markets overview and watch list options. My father was knowledgeable on the basics of stock trading and had a retirement account set up long ago, however he was not interested in the analysis during his free time.
We both had access to the account and our first step was developing a watch list. This consisted of researching familiar fortune 100 companies or as I like to call them ‘sexy stocks’. Buying shares of Ford, popular casinos and random pharmaceutical companies was the result of my watch list exploratory tirade. The result was losses in the market via negative returns and one pharmaceutical start up even went out of busiuness. There was no plan just a pot of $300 to see what the stock market was.
Fast forward to the year 2020 I have 5 years experience in the stock market and a Roth IRA set up for my retirement. I have done consistent and extensive financial markets research to understand a conceptual and detailed view. I have drafted and created an investment strategy for the individual investment account I operate, called ‘The Main Fund’.
Essentially this consists of a strict asset allocation between equities (stocks) and bond offerings. No matter the market movement my investments stay true to the asset allocation and I follow my #1 rule which is holding for the long-term capital appreciation and dividends.
I’ll leave you with this quote from the famous CEO of Vanguard Jack Bogle, “”The idea that a bell rings to signal when investors should get into or out of the market is simply not credible. After nearly 50 years in this business I do not know of anybody who has done it successfully and consistently.”
Thanks For Reading,