I recently started investing in stocks again. I have been interested in the stock market since the 1990’s. I remember the days of reading the Wall Street Journal and Investor’s Daily on my way to work, following the Dow Jones Industrial Average like a typical investor, even though I was making minimum wage at the time, and I was always broke. I paid attention to the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq averages. I loved hanging out in the financial district. I used to be a foot messenger in NYC, and Wall Street deliveries were the highlight of my day. Donaldson, Lufkin, and Jenrette (DLJ) was a frequent destination, and I never complained. The stock exchange became another building to me because I saw it so many times, and I spent a lot of time down there.
All this time I thought DLJ was a law firm. Actually, it is an investment bank!
After paying the weekly rent on my tiny room near Belmont Racetrack in Queens Village, NY, I was lucky if I had money for groceries and to buy a pack of ten subway tokens and keep singles handy for the bus since I lived in a two fare zone. I remember one time I was so broke that I stole a bar of soap from the job. Another time, I had no food except for a can of tuna and a bottle of ketchup. Sometimes my take home pay was barely enough to buy tokens for the week, but left me unable to buy food.
Despite my interest in the stock market, it would be at least two decades until I decided to open an investment account. I learned about a company called ShareBuilder that advertised an opportunity to buy partial shares of stock. I dost not remember how many shares I had, but it was not a significant amount since I had so little money to invest. But due to my worsening depression, I lost interest, and the account became stagnant for a number of years.
During those times of inactivity, the company changed hands, and they sent me an email informing me of the change. I took the opportunity to update my personal information, and I purchased partial shares of Wal-Mart and Home Depot. I was so happy that I was a stock holder again.
However, the euphoria would not last long.
I remember watching an interview, and the man being interviewed was saying something about an imminent stock market crash, so I sold my shares. But no crash happened! I sold my stock for nothing. I felt like an idiot. I was so upset, that once again, I lost interest, and the account remained inactive for a number of years.
But I didn’t sell all of my shares. I left at least one. I dost not remember which one it was.
As recently as 2017, the company changed hands again, and another email informing me of the change appeared in my email. So once again, I updated my personal information because I had moved, had a new phone number, and a new job. One of the major changes was that owning partial shares was no longer permitted, so I had to sell my one remaining share, and purchase new shares. I invested in a few different companies, but sold the shares because they were not performing well.
Once again, the account became inactive, but only for a few months instead of years. I started logging in a few times a month to check on my shares, but I didn’t buy any new stocks.
That changed when this damn corona virus came to town.
Since I was reassigned to work in a group home temporarily, I’m making more money, and that revived my interest in the stock market. I saw an article on Facebook about companies that pay good dividends. I needed help to get back into the account because I forgot the password. I researched a few companies and bought shares. I plan on purchasing more since stock prices are low. I even downloaded Google Finance to keep track of stocks that I own, and stock that I want to purchase.
Before I went to sleep this past Thursday night, I had a thought:
If I want to be an investor, then act like it. Think it. Feel it.
I am definitely acting like it. I always check to see how the market is doing. When Trump signed the stimulus bill, all of my stocks went up., especially petroleum. But despite the small run up in the market on Friday, brokerage firms might say the market is bearish, but I am feeling bullish. I am well aware that due to the virus, the economy is down, and unemployment is up. But stock prices in general are low, and this is the perfect time to buy shares.
Buy low, sell high.
Keep in mind that I am not putting all of my money in the market. Claire Stenstrom, who worked for Parmalee Management many moons ago, told me once upon a time: don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. I buy one or two shares at a time. I research stocks that pay dividends and the financial history of the company. I have a few favourites that I keep an eye on also. Shout out to Wendy Lee Ritchey from the same firm who I had a huge crush on. The last time I saw her was 1996.
I feel confident that even though stocks are down, the market will rebound. A lot of companies had to lay off employees due to reduced revenue, which caused the uptick in unemployment applications. I am very cautious when investing. I want to have a decent income when I retire, and build a financial empire.
However, I am so sick about hearing about the ever increasing body count due to the virus, and commentary from Wall Street analysts that the economy is in a recession.
If you’re looking to get into stocks, check out etrade.com. Just tell them I sent you.