Two years ago I started my investing journey for real. When I was younger I dabbled in a few mutual funds but sold out because I “needed” the money. In November 2019 I set up up my first IRA in anticipation of receiving funds from my previous employers retirement plan. My previous employer called it a profit sharing plan but it was more like a pension. Each year, the board of directors would determine how much money to contribute to the plan. Most years, it was 6% of the employees annual wage. The money was then held in an account in which the employees had no control over. Prior to receiving these funds, the IRA had only a couple hundred dollars in it that was invested in a couple mutual funds. During this time I began researching investing.
On March 23, 2020 the funds from a previous employers pension plan were rolled over into my IRA in the amount of $69,200. This was very fortunate timing. The funds had been pulled out the market on December 31, 2019 and were waiting to be distributed. This means that my money was sitting in cash during the flash crash in February/March 2020. Once the money hit my account I began buying mainly individual stocks. My stock purchase was General Motors (GM). Some other notable buys in the first few days were AT&T (T), CVS Health Corporation (CVS), Walt Disney Co. (DIS), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Kroger (KR), Proctor & Gamble Co. (PG) and 3M Company (MMM). I still have positions in all of these today. Other buys were made that I later sold out of the positions. This was an exciting time but also a bit scary.
I was 48 years old and this was all I had saved for retirement. At the time I felt like I had to get this right. My time horizon until retirement was relatively short. Even though I felt pressure to get this right, I did not view it as a negative. Previously, I did not have a real retirement plan. Like many Americans, I thought I would work until I could collect Social Security and that was my retirement plan. As I have gotten older, the idea of working well into my 60’s is not something I want to do. I looked at this as an opportunity make changes to secure a better financial future that would allow me to retire before I reach the age of 60 years old.
Again, the timing of this was as close to perfect as anyone could hope for. At the time I started buying, everything was on sale so I essentially could not go wrong. Because this was about the time the market bottomed, I was pretty much guaranteed to make money no matter which stocks I picked. While I am grateful for starting my investing journey at the bottom of a market crash it was not necessarily all good. As a new investor, I feel that this may have slowed down my learning curve. At the time, I was buying and selling stocks and ETF’s with little research. A lot was done based off articles I read or You Tube videos that I watched. Pretty much whatever I bought went up.
As time has passed, I feel I have grown as an investor. I am much more patient now. I do not rush into making buys or sells. I do more research now and develop a thesis for investing into a company. The same is done before selling out of a company. Even today I continue to learn and grow as an investor. The journey has been an interesting one for sure. Since that initial $69,000 invested two years ago the amount I have invested has doubled to about $138,000. I would have never thought I could double the amount I have invested in just two years. The future is looking much brighter now than it did a little over two years ago. Thank you to everyone who has been following on my journey!
On a side note, I have added a Recommended Resources in the menu. It currently is a work in progress. It will contain blogs and YouTube channels that I enjoy as well as some sites that I use. I hope you take the time to check it out.
*Disclaimer – I am not a financial professional. The information shared here should not be considered financial advice. I am just a factory worker sharing my experience as I strive to achieve financial freedom. Before investing or making any financial decision do your own research and due diligence or consider seeking the advice of a financial and/or tax professional.
Here are some of the businesses that I use that I thought some of you might be interested in.
Lolli has a variety of stores that it is affiliated with and offers rewards for shopping at these stores. I use Lolli when I shop on Chewy and I get bitcoin as a reward. Who doesn’t want free bitcoin! If you are interested in Lolli and want to help support the blog here is my referral link: https://www.lolli.com/share/XP7gxDgqC4
I use M1 Finance for my taxable growth account. M1 Finance offers promotions for signing up. At the time of writing this post, the promotion is for $50. These promotions vary from time to time but is usually a $10 bonus. If you are interested in M1 Finance and want to support the blog here is my referral link: https://m1.finance/ktIiFeOI5zDr
Varo Bank is one of the banks that I use. From time to time the bank will run promotions. Currently, you can earn up to 3% on your savings with Varo, if you meet certain requirements. If you are interested in checking it out, here is my referral link: https://bank.varomoney.com/signup?r=William360
If you use the referral links listed above I could receive compensation. Please take the time to read the terms and conditions before signing up.