The first stock I ever owned was Six Flags, Inc., which trades under the ticker SIX. I started dabbling in stocks at the end of my senior year in high school after a special finance and accounting class that traveled around came to my high school – I was hooked. It was the sort of thing where you got $10,000 in play money in order to pick some stocks, and you got to monitor them and see how they did, with prizes going to the best performing portfolios. Once I learned about it and understood the time value of money concept, I opened up my own brokerage account.
I really had no idea what I was doing – I picked companies I had heard of. Six Flags is a company with a number of amusement parks, which I enjoyed and figured must be a good investment, so I put $250 into it (big money right ). Well, the company was struggling then with narrow margins, a lot of debt, and (it seemed to me) a number lawsuits from things that happened at the park. I ended up holding it for a few years and then sold it for a small gain in 2006, but I definitely lagged the overall market. Fast forward to 2010 and the company merged, renamed, uplisted, etc and the now trades on the NYSE as Six Flags Entertainment Corp. The company has been doing great, and is up more than 700% since 2010.
Unfortunately, it is really hard to tell what the value of my initial $250 would have been if I had not sold in 2006 due to the move to the different exchange and stock splits – whenever you look at the “inception” of the ticker SIX, it only goes back to 2010, so that was a disappointment. It would have been at least a 10 bagger though, worth at least $2,500. Too bad I didn’t hold right! I think I moved into Cheesecake Factory’s stock right after (ticker: CAKE), which is up about 100% from 2006, but that is a lag on the overall markets which are up about 140% since that time (though I sold out long ago).
To me, learning by doing is one of the best methods… just jump in and see how it goes! Sounds like my crypto strategy actually… Ha!
Do you remember the first stock you ever owned?
Note: Free image courtesy of pixabay.