No. of Recommendations: 4
Ah, where to begin? Never one to doubt(only in my head to myself) my abilities to discern the reality of a given situation and be utterly and completely sure of the correctness of my course of action, I made my initial investment(read as gamble)after the love of my life(still is to this day)a few years after our marriage was not delighted when I suggested that some changes were needed to the brokerage account(hers thru her Grandfathers will)as I was not happy with the returns that were being generated. Turns out that she didn't agree with me that the approximately 8-11% per year returns it had averaged in five years prior. Kind of get an idea that I had no idea of how investment strategies worked or even that some kind of plan was even necessary.

I felt slighted and at the same time angry and decided that the only way to "help her" was with concrete results. Mind you, I am sure that most people who read this little tirade have figured out that I hadn't a clue as to what to do, but that never stopped. Me before so I immediately
opened an online account in early 1998. After a few dipping of my toes into the waters of investing, reading some informational books, mag articles etc. my 5K starting capital was growing
at a good rate. Now, I am somewhat of a gambler by nature, not enough to be a problem for me and didn't adversly affect my life, but I like the challenge and liked to win. By way of example, my father and I went to a few casinos and he was a big craps player, but could not explain his reasoning when he played. As a result I had to learn on my own and they were expensive lessons, but once I learned what not to do, I was able to win on a fairly consistent basis. Sorry about the long winded explanation, but if not stated, the rest of my tale might not make any sense to a ration reader in any sane way.

As most people know, I got in the market during the dotcom bubble, but of course I had no idea of the ups and downs and twisty turns of this rational, efficient market or that this wasn't normal.
I just assumed that I was a natural at this market 'thing'. So my initial stake of 5K mutiplied to over 50K as everything I invested in went up, up and away. Arrogant is the least offensive term I could apply to myself during this run up. One of my co-workers at this time had shown me one of the initial cell phones that he had bought and I remembering something that guy Lynch had repeated again and again in one of his books about looking around oneself for stock ideas. Ahh ha, thought I, this was going to be abig deal. I read some history on wireless tech, packets versus other possible technological advances and without any plausible due dilligence(no idea at the time waht that entailed, took a smallish feeler in a company named Geoworks after deciding that another company called Qualcomn might give Geoworks a run for the money.

One day not sure of the exact date, Geoworks exploded, going from about $5 a share to $30 in one session. Yahoo, thought I, I am really good at this and since I didn't have enough GWRX(normally called gigantic greed) nor wanted to sell other stocks still going up, i sloved this dilemma as any ration gambler and opened a margin account to maximize my profits. Once margin account was in place, I boosted to my wife about my gains and she had the audacity to suggest I take some profits to at least secure my initial investments and plus another percentage of profits. Ha, I thought, you are just jealous and wanted me not to show her up, so as Geoworks went up to another 5-7 per share I maxed out my margins to bursting and still it gained more, settling to rest at 10x's original cost. Two weeks later I started getting margin calls as the bubble burst and I lost everything and then some. Took years to just break even from that debacle. I was humbled beyond anything I could have imagined. My wife never ever! in all the years since, not even once said, I told you so. She is a spectacular woman and the most genarous, loving spouse a man could ever want, besides her intelligence and beauty she is kind and I love her more today than when we frst met. Moral is, my life lessons were expensive, but they are priceless and not easily forgotten. Want to thank all the people on this board for without their sharing their knowledge and generosity I would still be gambling instead of learning to invest my money and time in family and friends-to share all. I was lucky and am grateful.
Peace,Daddyblame aka John
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