Jim at Bargaineering.com has been compiling a list of best and worst money moves. I’ve been putting it off simply because it’s pretty hard to go back and analyze over the years. Do I include the set of 1986 Celtics Basketball cards that have appreciated some three hundred times their value? I’ve decided not to as it was pure speculation and luck. Do I include all the bad dates I went on before I found “the one”? That was part of the journey, so I’m not going to include that. Here’s what’s left:
- Investing in a Internet stock at the IPO price in 1999. I worked at a popular Internet company, but didn’t get in for the pre-IPO prices. However, they let me buy some shares at the IPO price with no restriction on when I could sell. When I look back it seems kind of shady. Anyway, I made 10K, which out of college is a good thing.
- Moved to San Mateo County. I know you are thinking… what?!?! It has a HUGE cost of living. The money my fiancee and I are making so much more than make up for it. Here’s the scary part… Since we moved out for her job, I had to take one of the first job I could find or lose money each day. As a software engineer, I could probably command another 20% if I decided to switch to another job.
- Remember that Internet stock that I mentioned above? Well I continued to invest in the Employee Stock Purchase Plan and just barely broke even after the dot-com bust. I also used that money and bought other Internet stocks. Like most, I didn’t get out in time. I did transfer a good chunk of money into bigger technology companies like Lucent and Worldcom. Ouch!
- Purchase that new sports car. It was a reasonably priced car as far sports cars go – under $30,000. I had cars that would barely run previous to that. I went to the opposite end of the extreme. If I had saved that some of that money and bought a condo at the time, I would have had a much better bottom line right now.
The key is that you can own up to your mistakes and learn from them.
So I had company on the Worldcom investment disaster :). That totally threw me off the investing scene for a while because that, unfortunately, was the first investment of my life !! :)
My biggest investing blunder was when I first started stock trading in 2001… I invested in Nortel… :(
You live you learn.