Rewind six years – I was a high school senior, sitting in my Economics class going through the newspaper to see stocks’ ticker symbols, prices, percentage changes, whatever else was included in newspapers back them. To be honest, I haven’t looked up stocks in an actual paper newspaper since 2007. To take it even further, I hadn’t looked up investments at all until about 6 months ago. It was around then that I decided I wanted to dabble in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds to see what it was all about. I had heard plenty about it, I felt like I knew people watching Jim Cramer in every different city I lived in. It wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to bother with matters of money.
Let’s take last night for example, I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies and two loaves of banana bread while browsing Pinterest and watching Sunday night’s episode of Revenge. Really now, does that sound like someone who puts her own money and makes independent choices about the stock market? No, it sounds more like June Cleaver to me. But it’s me, somehow I’m both.
I’m not sure if it was my job, as I became increasing responsible for the Financial Literacy program at my organization, or my decision to get my MBA, since nonprofits need a sold business foundation to be successful. I’m currently enrolled in managerial finance and I decided it was time I get some real world experience and throw some of my savings into the market and see what happens. I dove in head first about 3 weeks ago, and have bought up some stocks and mutual funds.
Granted, I really do not know all that much, I know little beyond divined yields and price/book ratios. I know that when a stock gets popular, people buy it, which drives the price up, until the firm starts to lose its apparent value and people jump ship, causing it to fall. You get in when it’s low, wait ’til it’s high, then sell off your shares to make a profit. Or just hold and collect dividends. Or something like that. See, that’s just about the extent of my knowledge.
My boyfriend suggested I invest in something I personally know, like Williams-Sonoma, but I didn’t. Instead, I invested (among others) in Newcastle Investment Corporation (NYSE:NCT), which is something called a REIT, or real estate investment trust. Unbeknownst to me prior to my purchase, NCT will be launching a spin off into the public market, New Residential Investment Corporation (NYSE:NRZ), set it enter the market mid-May. This means I’ll end up getting 1 share of NRZ for every share of NCT I currently own. To me, this is just more shares, each of which will have their own dividend and independent trading price. Its all very exciting and I’m looking forward to the next month, to see how my stocks do and to see what happens with this new spin-off, since it’s a concept pretty foreign to me.
I still have a lot of work to do, but it’s exciting. I don’t think being young, or a woman, or a nonprofit professional, or any of those things keep you from learning about the economy, the stock market, and how it relates to your personal finances. I’ll promise you this, if you have any sort of retirement account, IRA or 401(k), then you’re money is in the market, so you might as well at least try to see whats happening to it!
Maybe I’ll make another post soon creating an analogy between a batch of cookies and shares of stock…