This investment journey began in 2009, a few days after I graduated with my B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Boston University (student-loan debt was a huge motivator). I took a few hundred dollars I had left over from my work-study job, opened-up an investment account, and started toying around. The following year, I landed my first engineering job, bought a condo, and got married, all with only a few hundred dollars left to my name and $30,000 in debt (more reasons to start saving money and to start investing). Over the next three years, I played around with my investment account (which I capped at $5,000), making a lot of mistakes, very few good choices, and accumulating trade-violations around every corner.
During those same three years, my wife and I lived bare-bones and saved as much money as we could, paying off all of our debt and building a respectable $45,000 savings. There was no help from my investment account, though, which was now valued at approximately $800. Doing the math, it was obvious that my investments were doing miserable and that I had lost 84% of the money in that account. You could easily say that I flushed $4,200 down the toilet. And if I hadn’t learned anything through the experience, I would totally have to agree with you. But I learned a lot and can safely say that losing that $4,200 was some of the best money I ever spent. Because, through that experience, I developed these rules for my investments:
- Create your own playbook and follow your own rules
- Always do your own research
- Have a plan and be patient
- Trust in your research and in your plan
- Be open-minded and attentive
- Learn from every mistake (regretting a mistake means that you didn’t learn from it)
- Have fun
- The preceding rules aren’t set in stone
In 2013, I took these rules to heart and started investing our $45,000 savings. Investing your entire life savings is a ridiculously scary thing, but it motivated me to take my investments seriously and to research relentlessly. I have since gained the confidence and knowledge to start a private investment fund for my entire family. This blog will be my story.