My investing experience is limited (in my opinion), but probably more than most folks. I’ve always had an interest in it, and I’ve written sales letters to promote investing and trading products and services.
In my early twenties, I became interested in commodities. I purchased a guide that explained how to look for certain patterns and trade only those patterns. Unfortunately, the patterns I was supposed to look for were so uncommon that it was almost impossible to make any money at it. In fact, I lost quite a bit. I think I opened an account with a couple grand and lost $500 or so.
I didn’t stick with commodities for long.
Later, I became interested in stock newsletters. I purchased subscriptions to a few of them and began reading their analyses. One letter I joined was The Oxford Club. I found their advice to be spot on. I opened an account with a couple grand at Ameritrade to purchase their recommendations. In short order, my account had grown to $2,400. That growth occurred in about four months. I later liquidated my positions and zeroed out my account to pay down debt.
I’ve done the 401(k) thing a couple times. But I hate tax-advantaged investing. I don’t like submitting my finances to government surveillance and unnecessary penalties should an emergency arise.
My focus today is still paying down debt. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to be risking money on investments when I have the sure “investment” of reducing debt. In other words, I can’t lose money by getting rid of debt. I can only gain. But with any market investment, I stand to lose money. The potential gains are not guaranteed.
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