Moduers Story – Stock Market
I knew the term stock market for more than 10 years ago but only got interested 4 years back. Unfortunately, people are saying that investing in the stock market is similar to gambling, you can get bankrupt, stocks are dangerous or you need to prepare yourself for losses. And normally people are glued to their screens just to keep a monitor of their performance. Those are just bogus. It all depends on how we perceive things, from which viewpoint and how we invest. If we invest without a plan, be prepared to lose. If we invested in the foreign capital market then most likely we need to stay late due to differences in time zone. So everything that I’ve heard is not true.
They say you needed hundreds of millions to start investing. Unfortunately, those claims are also false, you can start your stock market investment from a minimum of 10 million or less. 4 years ago, I knew of friends who are investors. I got intrigued by investing in the stock market but sadly did not have the right mentor nor proper study guide at that time. Maybe I was the one who lacked effort.
Back in 2018, I got even more interested in the stock market seeing my friends reaping significant gains with more free time. In the beginning, I couldn’t understand the codes they were talking about (BB*I, BB*A, etc.), sounded like they were talking in Morse code and so I asked around. The question I had for them was how to invest in the capital market. Nine out of ten answered the same thing, “Don’t, it’s gambling, it’ll incur losses, it’s dangerous, you can lose your money”. All their answers were a disappointment but I don’t blame them, they previously had suffered financial losses.
So I kept asking other people, maybe I asked the wrong questions. When I asked someone with experience in investing, they say “why are you investing in the stock market, it’s dangerous you can lose your money” when themselves are invested. I got even more confused. I went to see those who have been successful in investing to ask them about the stock market but I never got an answer, nor did they enlighten me.
Feeling helpless, I then resort to self-learning and at one time, attended a seminar held by a renowned stock market investor who recommended the books I should read. From that seminar, I felt that there is light at the end of a dark tunnel and so I started reading the book that was being recommended. My second seminar was in 2019 and I also started to pick up more books. At one point I was ridiculed by others seeing the path I chose, nevertheless that never deterred me knowing that people have different views, perception and own methods. Comparing two years ago, I understand the stock market much better.
Early in 2020, I opened my first stock account. It’s still too early for me to start sharing as a beginner, but someone I trust had encouraged me to do so and that’s why I am writing this article. Back to the topic. Being courageous than ever, I bought my first stock that had just gone IPO in 2020. At that time, I didn’t know how to buy or sell stocks. What do bid and offer mean, I wouldn’t know. So I just anyhow clicked. After the purchase and the share price rose quite significantly, I did not manage to sell due to cut profit (profits are less than it should have been). So from a 50% profit to 25% profit. Not bad for a beginner like myself, but this is not enough. My friends say it’s just beginner’s luck, but not for me, I had my considerations into why I believe the stock will go up (even though I can be wrong).
After making my first profit, I started looking into other stocks. Even after studying, I felt I knew very little. I am now capable of seeing which companies are profitable, which ones are not. But the list got so long, almost 200 companies to choose from and it would be impossible to invest all 200 at the same time. After shortlisting, I am left with over 100 companies which are still too many. Feeling at a crossroad, I started asking left and right.
There came to a point where I was able to shortlist 200 companies quickly, so now the only thing left was to buy the stocks. Even after experiencing a red flag due to bad credit in P2P, the colour red when we talk about stocks still make me anxious. Sounds odd, especially when I had confidence in the beginning. One of the mentors had mentioned that it is normal to feel nervous when trying something new for the first time. Like learning to drive for the first time and accidentally bumping into other vehicles will get your heart pumping. There is a quote saying “Practice makes perfect.” Yes, that’s right!
Making a profit from my first stock did not mean that it will always be profitable. Due to COVID-19, nearly all of my portfolio is in red. At first, I took my losses for granted, even started averaging down on a stock which ended up profiting. As time goes by, I hear people saying do not catch a falling knife, restlessness is among us and The Great Depression of 1929 still linger in our thoughts. At that time if I had invested USD 1.000, it became USD 170 or 1 million into 170 thousand Rupiah; making money we ended up losing instead.
I was not careful enough when asking around for advice, they were the wrong people who gave the wrong advice and left me with the wrong place. After listening to too many people, my confidence eroded to a point I didn’t take action. Philip A. Fisher was right, from one of his books he mentioned: “Delaying an attractive buy because one fears the stock market might crash is the biggest loss”.
Our thoughts and reality may not be the same, hence positive thinking is essential. Unfortunately, I incurred tremendous losses and not prepared to mention any figures as for now. I felt down over it, distancing myself from the stock market for weeks which deepened my losses even worse. From this ordeal, I learned an invaluable lesson which is to believe in myself. At the moment I am trying to gather my confidence back into investing and I will be back very soon.
Moduers Story is a column written by Moduit users. All experiences are personal to and have become the responsibility of each writer.
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