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My DUMBEST investment ever was when my dad and I thought that we were going to get rich quick during the mass hysteria of the “.com” bubble.
I was living at home at the time trying to recover from a divorce. That enabled me to save lots of money. I decided that I would like to invest the money so I went and opened an account with A.G. Edwards. I had saved up around $8,000 dollars at the time. My dad had a little money saved up at the time also. It was only three hundred or so dollars so I told him he could just put it with my money and we would be like partners.
My broker was an older lady that drove a black Mercedes convertible and love to jet around town with the top down. That should have been my first warning sign right there, but I was just the dummy that she was looking for. This was early in 1999.
In the meantime my dad was getting addicted to watching CNBC television all day long. I remember him calling me at work to tell me about this great stock and how he thought it was really going to take off. I should call my broker and get her to buy some for me.
I must tell you now just in case you have not already figured it out my dad and I did not know anything at all about the stock market or valuing stocks. We didn't even know what a income statement looked like.
I did not take my dads advice that time on that hot tip, instead I went ahead and bought Dell Computer at around $40 and some change. Why? I heard it was a good stock on CNBC and my broker agreed. It was a good stock at the time, if I had just held on to it!! The stock had a bit of bad news not long after I bought it, and my dad was right there to see it live on you guessed it, CNBC. He called me and told me at work in a big panic. I remember not thinking much about it at the time, but as the stock continued it's down turn a few weeks later I sold. I then went ahead and bought Intel Corp around $52. My broker thought that was a good idea, and why not? She got another $29.50 in commission. That on top of what I had already lost in Dell Computer. The stock went up to around $63 and some change when my dad heard of another great stock from my uncle. Mindspring. I still remember his excitement as he told me what a great company it was. It is now known as Earthlink. It was an Internet company, you know one of those .com favorites of the time that everyone was so crazy about. I bought it at around $36 a share and around six months later it was trading at around $14 a share. In the Meantime Intel was up to around $75 a share. A few more months later Earthlink was down to $9.00 a share. Intel was around $100 a share. I finally sold Earthlink at the bottom a few weeks later around $8.00 a share. My $8000 dollars was now under $3000, and don't forget my dads $300 dollars. I bought Atmel after that at the advice of my dad, and I don't even remember what the price of it was. All I know is that I lost even more money. My broker was more than happy to make the trade though. I sold Atmel with about 1200 dollars left of my original investment. I told my dad that I had sold it and he said to me “well I want my 300 dollars back". After I stood there looking at him for around twenty minutes or so in total disbelief I said “yeah I bet you do!!!".
Thanks to the Motley Fool those days are long past me now and I have been very profitable in the markets. My dad and I still laugh about those times and I will never forget the lessons learned.

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