Wednesday, September 16, 2009

celebration in leather...

I'm a happy camper today.

I have a portfolio.
A stock portfolio to be exact.

I was one of those smart people that didn't panic when the market started to crash. I didn't cash in and sell it all off.

I hung around. I knew that it would bounce back. I didn't lock in a loss. I was patient. I had perseverance.

I even bought more stock when it was low. That's how sure I was.

Which is pretty damn cool since I am watched the Apple stock I bought six months ago at $80.24 a share just rocket up to $180.34 a share (as I type) this afternoon.

Mama is buying herself a new pair of shoes!
I shouldn't.
I already own too many, but I feel like celebrating.

I'm no financial wizard, but some things just make sense. Bernie Maddoff? That didn't make sense. No one can deliver profits long term like that. That goes under the adage of "If it's too good to be true, it usually isn't." Apple stock dropping below $100? That doesn't make sense either, at least within the last few years...but neither does bailing out AIG or having the government taking over General Motors? We won't even get started on what I think about the health care issue...for now.

So following through with something that does feel right, and then actually works. And works to your benefit, it's quite rewarding. And this time, on more levels than just one.

Accompanying my interest in following the stock market and it's behaviour, I have also found a new pastime. One that usurps time more than even writing or reading blogs...
I read a blog this morning where the author posted the television schedule that she likes for the fall and is planning to watch in the months to come. I read it and thought, "That's a pretty good line-up." But I could never watch that much television.

Why, you might ask?

Because I'm too addicted to watching real time the positions of my watch list and holdings...

I know. It's an odd addiction. But it IS addicting. TD Ameritrade has a streaming tool that you can load and use to watch your portfolio. I have literally wasted whole days watching the trade trends, the current bid and ask prices. Watching the graphs of the trading volume and my stock values and it hopefully is raising rather than falling. From 9:30 until 4:00 it is hard for me to pull away from looking at the screen.

Flashing red (which denotes a sale), green (which denotes a buy) and yellow periodically in either the high or low category. Red, green, green, red, green, red, yellow! Watching the net earnings change when in green (positive) is always a good thing.

Hey! It's now yellow! In the high column! $181.60! See. In that short period from my typing the very first sentence of this post, it just went up...again!

My dad has always invested in the stock market. At least as long as I can remember. Growing up, when other families were watching programs together on the television, we didn't. My dad would be sitting there taking notes on the financial channels watching the ticker tape that ran across the bottom of the screen. He would 'shush' us if talking and close the door to the kitchen if loading the dishwasher after dinner was disturbing his concentration. My mother, brother or I didn't necessarily find looking at the numbers pass quite as entertainment, and would drift off finding other things to occupy our time. Finally we bought a second TV so the whole family would be happy.

Over the years my dad has developed his own rather complicated theory on how to decide what stocks are good investments. He does it by giving them a grade value through researching several resources for information. By plugging this information into his equation; Bam!, it'll let him know whether it's a buy, sell, short sell, or long term hold.

Sound easy? It's really not.
Trust me. He's given me the equation. It's quite complicated. But it works, but it's not easy.

I think my dad always wished I had more interest in the stock market. He secretly wished I'd been a stockbroker. I'd be lying if I said that he wasn't disappointed that I didn't choose that as a career. Perhaps it was because he knew I had the persistence and knowledge to see slight market inclinations or because he thought he could get his trading done at a discount. But he is glad that I have a healthy interest in it today. It's an interesting phenomena; to sit at the kitchen table with my dad and jaw over what the market is doing.

Just Monday he was talking about Apple stock. How it's been pretty volatile. Jumping from a high of $205 to a low of $80 when Steve Jobs was sick. All within the last couple of years. He knew that I held some in my portfolio but wasn't sure how many shares I had. I told him that I had bought a substantial amount when it was at it's lowest point. The look that he gave me was the closest to admiration that I think I have ever in my life witnessed from him.

The look in his eyes seemed more genuine than when he looked at me on my commencement from High School or College. Greater than the gaze on my wedding day. More sincere than even when he beheld his first (and only) grandchild after I gave birth to my daughter.

There was an understanding. That now, finally, he's accepted me as a competent adult.

I'll take this brief moment of pure acceptance from him. I'll treasure it. Who knows when, or if, I'll see it again. I will continue to usurp my valuable time and watch my positions list online. Who knows. I may have to buy yet another monitor so I can do the research on one, watch the list on another and of course, I need one for the blogging. I already have two, so what is one more to add to my desk.

My dad once told me, "Time is your most valuable commodity." I think he would approve of my time spent watching these screens.

Wow. AAPL just jumped up another point.
$182.75! That's the highest it's been since '07. I'm going to start counting some chickens.
Or my eggs in the basket.

You know what? Forget the chickens and the eggs, maybe I'll just buy two pairs of shoes...


  1. I want to be like you when I grow up!

  2. A guy I work with is thinking of investing 'a few thousand' in the share market. Completely foreign concept to me - having a few spare thousand, let alone thinking of dabbling in the share market.

  3. Kudos for you. At the moment, I don't have anything to spare. However, I invest in a personal manner (places that suck the $$ out of my wallet and other patrons).

  4. @Chrissy - Maybe we should switch places, I always wanted to be YOU! :-)

    @Matthew - Growing up exposed to the market, it just seemed the 'natural' thing to do. It's like legal gambling. But with more information to educate yourself. Trust me, there was a time when my dad would say, "You should by some of XYZ stock." And I'd be like, "With what?"

    @Little Ms - Thanks! You know, I gave up going to coffee places a few years ago. Do you realize that I was spending over $1000 a year on coffee? Wow.

    Now, which shoe store should I go to?

    Thanks for the comments!

  5. It's so sweet that your dad was proud of you. I hope hubby's 401k will make a recovery like your Apple stock.

  6. We annuitized all our stocks and bonds when we retired, and although it's all tied into the market we don't have the ability to change much (just move things from one pot to another, and nothing was good last year), so I watch but hope for the best. Sounds like you get quite a lot of fun out of the market. It's doing well right now, isn't it?

  7. I take my hat off to you, Nancy. I have the financial skills of a muppet, and savings to match. (Though I heard once that Oscar had an eye for the long money)

    And thank you for having me on your Must-Reads list! Indigo

  8. By the way, you're welcome. I'm looking forward to your "ten things nobody knows" for the Honest Scrap award.

  9. I've been wanting to try the stock market, but I'm a big chicken. I know that if I just treated it like Fantasy Football, it'd be a blast...but I could also go broke.

  10. Oh. That definitely calls for new shoes. BTW your brother is a little hottie!!

  11. Nice! No good deed should go undone and what better way to congratulate yourself on a job well done, than by celebrating with a little shopping. Make sure you purchase a bag to match the fabulous shoes, so you have something to carry all your stinking money to the bank in.

  12. Hey.
    I tagged you for an award at my blog.
    Check it out!

  13. nice buddy....u did very well.

    When the stock will triple, buy ur mama a gold bracelet.

  14. Well, you learn something every day. And that part about the look from your dad...priceless.

  15. Happy Birthday to your brother. What a good lookin guy! I am surprised that he is still single. I envy your financial savvy. Wish I had a bit of it. Kudos. Enjoy your shopping and buy something to make the blonde school bimbos envious.

  16. I worked in Operations in the stock market for years. From the opening bell to closing time...pure chaos. Nothing could wait till kept you moving. It's such a rush watching your stocks...and the ticker...and the news updates.
    How wonderful to have this to share w/your dad!

  17. You GO, girl!!!

    OMG...I know absolutely nothing about the stock market, but after reading this post I actually got totally excited about it!

    You sound like my mother, she loves watching the stock market and is VERY good at choosing when to buy. She has almost an "intuitiveness" about it.

    Anyway, congrats Nancy! Hey...and maybe with those two pairs of shoes you can also buy two new turtlenecks!


  18. Shoes and chocolate! I admire your tenacity and patience... I can't watch the market that closely-- I just get obsessed and it eats me alive. I just check a summary customized Yahoo finance page a bunch of times during the day... It's better for my mental health.

    I'm glad your dad validated your wisdom! Yay!

  19. I wish I knew enough about the stock market to follow it like that. I get the basic idea, but when stock-savvy folk such as yourself start speaking in their own language, I usually find myself lost. Who knows... maybe I'll read up and get in on it one of these days.


Do it. Do it NOW!