So I want to make a bunch of money in the stock market. I’m guessing that you do too. I realize that I’m at a disadvantage in some ways, being an average Joe with no more access to information than anyone else. But nobody ever got rich just sitting around. Well, that’s not entirely true, but I don’t see it happening to me.
Who am I?
I work full time as a barback in a casino. I know, I know, this is Stock Picking Bartender, not barback. Bartender sounds sexier, plus I bartend plenty, believe me. I just also happen to cut limes and take out the trash at the end of the night. Don’t judge me.
My history with the stock market.
Years ago when I was in college I bought some Yahoo! stock, about $200 bucks worth. I think it had something to do with some project I was involved in. I checked it a year or two later and BOOM! It was worth around $700 bucks. I sold it and used the proceeds to help pay for a car. I remember thinking: ‘Wow, this stock market stuff is great. I’ll have to get back into this when I get some REAL money to play with!’
Fast forward a few years. I owned a successful business, had some extra cash floating around, and I got ‘the bug’. I opened a trading account in October of 07. Now, go somewhere and view a chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Take a look at October of 07. How do you think this worked out for me?
It was a train wreck. I lost several thousand dollars doing all the things that you hear retail investors do wrong. I bought high, I sold low. I took the pain, and took the pain, and finally capitulated, selling to make the pain go away. This happened over the course of a year, in many different positions, until I just walked away. My hard earned money was in someone else’s pocket, probably working hard for that person to make him or her MORE money. I was just some guy with an internet connection. The person who had my money probably spent the day on the phone with people in the know, had lunch with captains of industry, and probably wore a suit. I did most of my trading in my pajamas; I might have occasionally busted out some khakis. I said it was too hard, and I gave up.
Maybe I’m being a little hard on myself here. I can point to my inexperience, and my incredibly poor timing to give myself a bit of an excuse, but it’s important to realize past mistakes to make way for the future. Stock market riches, take two…
Why I started this blog.
Investing is a lonely affair. I spend hours learning all I can about the stock market, researching companies, listening to quarterly conference calls, reading books, etc. I’m excited by the stock market; I love the IDEA of it. A public forum where you can put your money and watch it grow. If you put it in the right place, that is. But I crave interaction. I want to talk about this (potentially) wonderful experience. So where do I do that? Message boards? The typical financial message board is full of stuff like this:
Bull: I love this company! The stock is going to a zillion because rainbows, sprinkles, and ponies.
Bear: Are you kidding? I started shorting this stock at a zillion-and-one. I shorted more today. They are going to declare bankruptcy on Tuesday, I know a guy who knows.
Bull: But what about the rainbows?
Bear: Your mom.
So maybe starting a blog isn’t the best way to avoid this type of interaction, but I suppose I can just delete any message that somehow disparages my mother.
I’ll be writing about companies I’m thinking of investing in, as well as keeping track of current investments. I’ve heard that before you make a trade, you should be able to explain to another person exactly why you intend to do it. If I can’t write an article about it and explain my reasoning, maybe it isn’t something I should invest in.
I’ll also be posting my trades and will continually update my results so I can brag about my gains, and expose my losses to the harsh light of day. Maybe that’ll keep me on my toes. Who wants to own up to their mistakes?
I hope you stay and enjoy my journey, and I sincerely hope that you get something valuable out of it as well.
Michael Rowland, the Stock Picking Bartender