Every great investment story has a beginning and this paper is about my curious beginning. January 29th, 2007 found me staring at a brand new Iphone brought to me that day by my caring mother. Being only 12 at the time, I did not realize that a simple iPhone would be the start of my business career. My initial experience with phone did not evoke much interest in me and having no use for the gadget, I reached what appeared to be a sound conclusion at that time; sell the phone to someone who wanted it and give me some money to acquire things which appealed to me. A buyer was quickly found and the agreed price was $50. Thrilled about making my first profit, I told my mom about this exciting news. My mom responded with a canning whose memory still lingers even now as her rage took over after spending $300 dollars on a phone just so her son could sell it to one of his buddies for 1/6th of the original price.
But the curiosity aroused that day was not sated and my thirst for investment knowledge grew leading me to ask for advice from my mother. His first suggestion was stocks and even though it was still a bit too early for me to invest at that time, that didn’t keep me from learning. I came across “Growing Money: A Complete investing Guide for Kids” by Gail Karlitz and Debbie Honing and went to a local bookstore and bought it. While reading the book, I learned the basics of finance; the book covered terms such as savings account, bonds, stocks, unit trusts, hedge funds and mutual funds. It was an eye opener and a foundation on which deeper learning could be based.
My aroused passion saw me delve into several investment books like “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham; its teachings on value “Value Investing” protects investors from consequential errors and teaches us to develop lasting strategies. As one looks at the contradictions between Graham’s examples and today’s financial troubles, it’s possible to appreciate the need to ensure financial prudence in all investments. It came as no surprise that turning 17 would find me registering in an online stock simulator with a brokerage account of $10,000 simulated money. By applying the “Dogs of the Dow” strategy, which is buying the cheapest stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, my profits were over $1470 within a span of 2 months.
Knowledge and experience are vital blocks in any investor’s path and getting a good internship is a good milestone in the path to success. My internship was at The American International Group assisting with stock research for the investors at the company. My responsibilities were to work on projects related to business and other activities beneficial to the company. Here one is encouraged to think outside the box and seek mentorship from other professionals regarding any field not clear to me. The internship also involved working closely with senior management to develop, analyze and review business performance and strategic opportunities. By contributing to the company and using the knowledge I’ve acquired in my past years and giving hourly investment reports on the stock market, I managed to gain their respect and trust me as a valuable aspect to the company. Employees also gave me advice through their past investing experience both positive and negative to equip me make sound decisions and avoid errors. The experience and advice will go along way into shaping my career path.
The knowledge I have accrued from business books and experience from my internship provides me with the necessary stepping stones to launch my career. Having business knowledge, advice from investment advisors and personal experience gained through internship and investment simulations, successful stock investment becomes a possible dream. As the years progress, I will continue to apply what I’ve learned as I pursue a business career with the hope of becoming a successful investment banker.