Writer’s Notes: In the Stocks

Today I bought my very first stocks (or I will have by the time you
read this). No, not the sort of stocks you lock people in so the
villagers can throw rotten veggies at them (we made a set of those a
couple years back, actually). I’m talking about buying shares in
businesses, bought via a broker. Or in my case, what’s referred to as a
“discount brokerage” where you manage your own portfolio online. Monday
night I opened a Sharebuilder
account (it’s the only reputable brokerage online I could find that
didn’t have a minimum opening account requirement or excessive fees),
Tuesday night I gave myself a seriously comprehensive crash course on
investing and markets and types of stocks and strategies and risk
tolerance, and then *breathe!* I researched quite a few stocks I was
interested in and started forming my own investing strategy (it was a
busy night).
As of today, I’m a bonefide stockholder with a baby
portfolio, and a stock ticker on my tablet to keep tabs on the four
companies I bought shares of, plus the other companies I may want to
invest in later.
I have been wanting to do
this for over ten years. The idea that I can buy a piece of a company
and in doing so help the company out and if everything goes well and we
all get lucky, maybe even recoup some of my investment is just amazing
to me. I’ve looked into it a few times before, but most large brokerage
firms have a $1000 minimum starting account, which is just too much for
me to be comfortable “playing” with in a situation where the money is at
risk (however low that risk might be depending on the investments, the
stock market is *always* a risk). And I didn’t want someone else
handling the decisions for me either – back to that whole “control
freak” thing, it’s my money, and win or lose, I’ll decide where it goes.
Another part of that is I don’t want to invest in companies that I have
ethical or philosophical issues with, so I want to know exactly what my
money’s supporting.
Sure, I could have spent
the $200 I invested on other things…but it wasn’t *needed* for
anything, and that was a key factor in my decision. My personal number
one rule for the stock market is never invest money you can’t afford to
lose.
What does this have to do with books and
writing? Not much, really. But whether I make money or lose money
(probably both, ultimately), it’s a new experience, a new set of
emotions, a new knowledge base and a new way of looking at things (not
to mention a goal achieved – yay!). And *that* can be considered just as
much an investment in my own writing/publishing business as it is for
my life in general, because the more experiences I have, and the more
perspectives I have to choose from when I’m creating/writing characters,
the better my writing will get. And we all know that good content is a
cornerstone of a solid writing career.

Hmm…stock broker heroine, anyone? Stay tuned…


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