Everybody’s got to start somewhere, right? For me, that somewhere was at the age of 15.
Initially, I started investing for no other reason than to make good use of my savings from my summer lifeguard job. My first investment was a Vanguard REIT mutual fund. Having made a deal with my parents that I could start “investing” if I saved enough for the minimum investment amount ($3,000); I spent months researching the best funds while waiting for a few more paychecks to roll in. I chose this mutual fund has long been lost to time but it didn’t end well for my trading account. I soon lost 10%, pulled the trigger to get out, and then sat on the sidelines while I watched the fund bounce back above my purchase price. Despite being crushed that my first exploits in the market didn’t end well, I kept at it and to this day it is a major
hobby addiction of mine.
Throughout high school, I witnessed The Great Recession that occurred during my junior and senior year. I had no clue what was going on. I had a general idea and did some reading on the credit default swaps, but it wasn’t until college that I really started to learn how the gears worked in a business. My first college classes in accounting & finance were what really created my interest in the whole field. In college, I learned ROI, GAAP, FIFO, NPV, EBITDA among plenty of other things. I began to better understand how businesses operate and what really goes on behind the corporate veil. I’m still learning a great deal, even after graduation, namely thanks to my job, but also through industry and business magazines like Bloomberg Businessweek, Money Magazine, Kiplingers, and of course the Wall Street Journal.
I think it’s the complexity of businesses that most interest me, especially giant corporations. Ford. General Mills. Exxon. Coca-Cola. It’s amazing how these multi-billion dollar companies can operate with such efficiency. Yes, I know they have thousands of employees and economies of scale certainly helps, but it’s astounding to me how Ford (with a $147 Bn in revenue last year) has a Board of Directors approximately the same size as my Alma Mater’s business school board of advisers. Finally, to be frank, the money interests me, as an investor and consumer. The analytics and algorithms that went in to determining the perfect price to sell the first iPad. The fact that you can make money selling index funds from anything from Carbon Emissions Reduction Credits (NYSE: GRN) to Lithium Mining and Battery companies (NYSE: LIT).
No one can know everything about how all of this works. But I’m certainly trying to learn as much as I can and my hope is that I can share some of that with you.