Investment Lessons: 10 Things I Learned Early
To conclude this series on learning to invest in stocks, I originally planned to list up some sites, blogs and other resources but figured the investing blogroll I have up already is sufficient.
Rather, I would like to close out this series with 10 points on my reflections from investing and what it has done for me over my short investment period.
Reflections on Investing
If you have followed this series from the beginning, you’ll know I started with nothing. No knowledge and close to no money. I was biased that the market was equivalent to gambling and believed that working hard and going up the corporate ladder was the only method to success since I had no interest in economics, finance and business. I had laser tunnel vision in trying to do well at work. The fact that I have an engineering background and my thought process was wired to be analytical didn’t make it easier for me to “look around”.
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1. Investing broadened my mind
I love the process of investing and I also have a thirst for knowledge. The resulting proceeds is the icing on the cake. My friend (probably reading this) tells me I should teach since I seem to be better at teaching people what to pick rather than doing it out myself.
Investing has broadened my mind by forcing me to think in different ways and to look at a situation from different angles and perspectives. It broke the mold that many engineers have of straight line and top-bottom thinking.
2. Investing proved I was wrong
I was the type of person you hate to get into arguments with because I always had to be right and I would always find some way to prove it. If I didn’t have the facts with me at that point in time, I would gather it later and let you know why I was right again. When I first started this blog, it started off with a bang by receiving negative comments from people because the methods I use were “hideous” to them. I would spend as much time on a comment as I would on an article just to point out every single detail. You get the idea.
Investing has shown me that I am wrong. People leaving comments have proven that I am wrong and then the market nails that fact in. The more important thing now is that I don’t care whether I am wrong. I like to be told constructively that I am wrong. I listen to why people believe I am wrong. I ponder their points and if what they say is true, I now admit my mistake, learn and move on to more lessons.
3. Investing has helped me to ignore noise
Investing has helped me in determining what was real useful information and what was noise. It has helped me to become efficient in processing data and to ignore the noise that fills the world today.
4. Investing taught me about businesses
I would never have dreamed on wanting my own business. Investing and looking at stocks as pieces of businesses has placed a desire to start my own business and I am in the process of doing so. The things I have learnt by reading annual and quarterly reports, financial statements and books have all been beneficial in how to approach starting and running a business.
5. Investing has made me responsible
I would probably still be spending my cash on gadgets, toys and other useless things to satisfy my hobbies rather than working towards the things that were important. I’ve dropped the hobbies that were time wasters and concentrated on helping my wife feel secure by managing our finances properly.
6. Investing reminds me of my purpose
I don’t invest to purely just accumulate wealth. That isn’t something I believe in. I have a purpose and reason for why I invest and it isn’t to get rich or retire comfortably. This helps to prevent me from getting over greedy. Do you have a purpose or is it just to get rich?
I was never into the whole internet friend/community thing. Just never bothered, but I realized that interacting with like minded and driven people was stimulating in so many good ways.
8. Investing makes me want to help others
You’ve heard horror stories of people losing their entire wealth in the market and going bankrupt. They bring devastation not only to themselves but to their family and other close relationships. I don’t want this happening to anyone so at any given chance I enjoy discussing financial issues to help others.
9. Investing organizes my thoughts
I’m not a very good speaker as I tend to jump between points often. When performing research and writing on this blog, I am required to lay out my thoughts in an easy to follow and understandable manner which in turn helps me to see things clearer as well. If my writings were jumbled and all over the place, I’m sure you wouldn’t be here reading anything I had to say.
10. Investing has opened up different avenues of skills
The whole process of investing and this blog has taught me many new skills. I now understand web design platforms, some coding, graphic design, sales, marketing, SEO and other little bits and pieces that truly are valuable. How do I know this is valuable? Well, I’ve been able to use every piece of information accumulated for a personal business project I am currently undertaking.
Investing is more than just gaining money. The 1000+% return with VNDA sure would have been nice but investing opens up a pandora’s box. Some refer to it as a journey or a game but whatever you call it, have fun with it, don’t go wild or do crazy things.
One final important point I would like to make is that, if I can do it, so can you.