Finally playing the stock market

I remember being in high school and in some class we were to pick out stocks to “buy” and then track for the month. I recall it wasn’t easy to imagine any companies that I wasn’t clearly very familiar with so picked Xerox and Kodak since they were based nearby. I don’t recall the third pick I made. Xerox stock was about $25 then and is now under $20. But it hit over $130 in the late 90s. Kodak’s details are less clear, since they declared bankruptcy, but it’s taken a slide since trading resumed 7 or so years ago from the $30 range down to just over $8 today, with no peak to speak of between.

Part of my work of getting our finances nailed down during this pandemic has had me studying our retirement accounts. We have eggs in a number of different baskets, but they’re all tied to the larger economy, and as I get closer to the retirement age I figure it would be good to pay better attention to where those eggs are and what they’re doing. That said, ever since high school I’ve been intrigued about stock market investing. I just never took the leap to take action.

My brother turned me on to Webull. (Yes, that’s an affiliate link, and, full disclosure, I’d get a few free stocks if anyone clicks on it, creates an account and then puts at lest $100 into the system.) I hope he’s getting his free stock for inviting me.

Right now they’re running a promo until the end of October that if you put in $100 you get 2 free stocks. I just got notification of the ones I’ll receive.

Here’s my thinking.

I know that the idea is to buy low and sell high. I know that financial advisors suggest playing the long game during downturns. There also are these:

1 – you figure at some point congress will put forth another round of stimulus funding and the markets will bump, even if only for a short period.

2 – things will gradually return to “normal” and some markets that have taken a big hit will crawl back.

So I’m thinking I will transfer just $100 a month for this year and play around a little with some of the stocks. I know I missed the window for Amazon and Zoom to thrive during the lockdowns (though they continue to rise).

I purchased 1 share of Alaska Airlines, 3 shares of American Airlines and 10 shares of a company developing a less invasive COVID-19 test. In the 24 hours since I spent that $99.80 the value has increased to $106.10. Plus the value of the two free stocks when they clear. (Currently one is at $8.36 and the other at $9.28, so not a bad couple of freebies.) Total of almost $24 gained from the $100 I put in.

Webull does not charge a commission for a trade and there isn’t any fee for transfers to or from a bank account. I don’t quite get how they make money, but that’s largely because I don’t speak the lingo. Check out the “Pricing” tab on their page, maybe you can understand it better than me.

Leave a Reply