"Bulls make money. Bears make money. Pigs get slaughtered."
Luckily a friend of mine who lived across the street from us worked in a Kroger grocery store in the next town over and got me a job stocking shelves (Thanks Don!). It was indoors and I thought I was in heaven. At that age I was living at home going to high school so I had no bills to pay. All of the money I earned was mine alone. I got paid every couple of weeks and I thought I was rich. But soon college came along and tuition, books and fees sucked up all my excess earnings. I was pretty much living hand to mouth at that point. Later, after college, came apartment rent, car notes, monthly bills and saving for Graduate School - all the normal costs of just living. I was getting nowhere fast. Unfortunately it’s the typical story of most Americans.
At about that time in my life I came to the realization that selling my life and my limited skills to some employer just wasn’t going to get me anywhere. If I continued along this path I was destined to a life of debt and depression. The American Dream became the American Treadmill for me as it has for so many other Americans. I had to figure out something different for my life. It was there in Raleigh, NC, that I discovered stocks and investing.
Some people start a business, some get into real estate, I got interested in the stock market. It’s been a life long hobby of mine and this website is helping me crystalize all my ideas and strategies that I’ve used for investing. Not everything I’ve tried has worked but that’s part of the discovery process of investing. There are hundreds of ways to make and lose money in the stock market and if a guy like me was going to survive then I'd have to find out what I'm both capable of and comfortable with.
For me that came down to derivatives and dividends. After all these years I’ve finally started to get it (Proof that even the dummies catch on after a while!). I know this because what use to seem so difficult to me now seems so obvious. It’s still hard work and it makes my head hurt sometimes but it’s now become my passion. If I’ve successfully learned how to select the right companies, the dividends will continue as long as the companies are in existence (and long after I’ve left this earth). And this is the beauty of investing. It’s one of the few hobbies available that can actually end up making money rather than losing it. And if done right, your heirs can live off your intelligent decisions for years to come regardless of how smart they turn out to be.
Trade for today, invest for the future.