I found at Moolanomy that there’s a Share Your Investing Story for a Chance to Win a Free Book Giveaway and the submission deadline is tomorrow. So, I’ve decided to squeeze in at the end and share mine. Thanks to Paidtwice which is where I got the referral for the contest.

So, here’s my story. My father is an investor. He ran a business with my mom and they retired at 50 from their hardwork at their jobs and diligent long term investing on his part. I’ve talked aboutmy journey to understanding and appreciating finances the way he always has .

I would say that about 5 years ago, I became interested in the stock market, started paying attention when he’d have Bloomberg TV on, I started receiving Marketimer in the mail and reading that. My dad would get me books, like The Little Book of Value Investing and others. But I still didn’t really get how to go about investing in the stock market, it was scary to me and I didn’t feel capable.

Then, my dad surprised my brother and I at Christmas in 2005 by telling us he was giving us each a dollar amount. It was to use toward learning about the stock market. He wanted us to get interested, dive in, test the waters and find out what it’s all about. He made it a contest and said that he wanted us to be competitive, seek out what we wanted in a stock and see at the end of the year how we each performed. No reward other than our profits and pride.

For 6 months after that, the money he gave me sat in my Vanguard Money Market Account because I just wasn’t ready yet. I had made one Index Fund purchase but wasn’t ready to go with an individual stock yet. I watched my index fund go up and that helped me gain the confidence to bite the bullet and buy a stock. It was scary, it was exhilarating, it was fun.

2 years later, I’ve bought and sold a couple stocks and held onto a few more for that duration. I feel knowledgable about the stock market, the risks, the benefits. I have learned patience and the power of saying ohm after a bad day. I try not to check everything too often because the point of this whole process was to wait and invest long term so what does it really matter what happens in one day? And since I feel very good about the strength of the stocks I own, I can just sit back a bit.

I have had so much fun doing it, learning about it and I have come to enjoy the hunt for a new great stock purchase. So, 2 years later – my dad contributed to our funds again this year – and I’ve seen as of today a 26% gain on my money. Not too bad! Oh and since I’m sure you’re wondering, I’m killing my brother in this contest πŸ™‚ Who said I’m not competitive?