How I got started

Well, I started investing in June 2009. But truthfully I didn’t make the decision then. I made that decision almost two years prior. Why did I wait? I needed to pay down a significant credit card debt. I knew in early 2008 that I’d soon be paying off my car loan and I also had been quite liberal spending money I didn’t have over the past few years on my other hobby, astronomy. I’m almost embarrassed to admit my debt exceeded $17k. But I knew I could get that down if I could get a lower rate. With all the credit card offers coming to my mailbox I bit on one that the terms were acceptable, part of the Union offerings actually.
So with a new lower interest loan I started paying down my debt, throwing every bit of spare cash into the endeavor. When the car was paid off I added the cash normally going to the car payment to my credit card payment until I hit zero in early 2009.

And that’s lesson one! Don’t invest unless your high interest debt is all gone! Nothing pays as much in returns as debt reduction.

So, in June 2009 it was time. I had $2000 to throw into a brokerage account. I went over to Scottrade on Fruitville Pike, talked a bit and also IM’ed with Frank extensively. So, using what I considered common sense I bought COP (Connoco Phillips) and BAC (Bank of America). I bought them on Friday and the Monday after the market tanked 300 points. Great! As time went on I made a few other purchases and got impatient enough that I sold them on panic for a loss. Impatience for progress hurt me. Didn’t lose horribly but it was well paid schooling. Finally made some money on Dominion Energy (D) and a little known company called Apple. And I bought Microsoft So by the end of the year I had lost $300. And that’s the last losing year I’ve had.

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