My early efforts at investing were unsuccessful

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I don't fully subscribe to the University of Chicago's disbelief in alpha, but even if there are people who can successfully pick stocks that will perform in excess of their risk-adjusted expectations, I am certainly not among them.

Fortunately, I learned this lesson early in life, with my first (and so far only) investment in an individual stock: Stratos Lightwave. I made my purchase after getting involved in an investment club my sophomore year of college whose sponsor advised everyone to "put a token amount into a stock you choose; this will give you the motivation to follow the market."

It didn't go as well as I'd hoped:

Early experiences have a funny way of having outsized influences on our later lives, but I was more or less convinced by this to stop picking stocks, and leave my money in index funds. Of course, if you'd like to prove me wrong with a can't-lose stock, feel free to drop me a line.


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