Small Investor Followers – Introduce Yourselves

Let me say I’m thankful for the large number of people who have followed The Small Investor over the years.  I still remember getting my first follower about a week after starting to write.  Today I have almost 300 followers through WordPress and email.  I also have 51 Twitter followers, which seems to be a relatively fixed number because each time I get another, I seem to tick off somebody or something and I lose one or two.

I have a few followers who comment fairly regularly, but a lot of you are silent followers.  I’d love to know a little more about you.  Please comment to this post and let me know:

1.  Your personal financial situation.  Student saddled with debt?  High school student learning about finance?  Seasoned investing pro laughing at my stock analysis?  Recently out-of-debt and looking to start investing?

2.  Where you want to be in five, ten, and twenty years, both financially and professionally.

3.  If you’re financially independent, how does that feel?  Can you tell other readers if it is worth the sacrifice?

4.  What is the best personal finance/investing tip you ever got.

5.  Did your parents teach you anything about personal finance?  What about investing?

So, who’s out there, and what do you have to say?


  1. I’m in my early 40s and only really got on solid financial footing in the past few years. Never big debt, just no solid employment – a lot of job changes. Therefore, I’m REALLY behind the 8-ball as an investor since, until a couple of years ago, I was also a horrible investor. Since then, I’ve realized that I’ve always been very good at picking stocks, just not holding them! (The returns on ones I’ve sold make me want to cry.) Now that I’m holding, my results only two years in are very good. (More about that on my blog, – shameless plug!) If only I practiced this 15 years ago … Anyhow, to answer your questions:

    1. We have only mortgage debt, and not much compared to your average North American who seems to think they need their “dream home” in their mid-20s.

    2. Professionally, I only care about doing whatever it takes to pay the bills and to set 10% aside to invest. Right now, that’s going very well. I’m not willing to risk starting my own business at this point. Hope to not have to work full-time within the next 15 years, and would enjoy working only part-time if I’m able.

    3. I’ll let you know when we get there! But we were debt-free for about a year before stepping up to our current house, and yes, it was an incredible feeling!

    4. Buy quality stocks and hold onto them for as long as possible.

    5. My Mom taught me to ‘save every penny’. Regarding investing, she didn’t teach me anything except that I should invest, so I started out in mutual funds and had to stumble along for about 20 years to finally get investing figured out!

    • Welcome, Dave. At 40, you still have a lot of time left to create a fantastic retirement and a legacy to leave your heirs. I spent a lot of time stumbling around as well in investing – I almost wonder if you almost need to before you convince yourself that buy-and-hold is the only way to go. One of the things that helped change that was the book by J.D. Spooner called “Do You Want to Make Money, or Rather Fool Around?” It made me realize that while I was picking good stocks, I wasn’t buying enough shares. Since then I’ve started concentrating more in the portion of my portfolio where I have individual stocks – buying 500 or 1000 shares instead of 100 or 200. That has made a huge difference. Of course, I keep my 401K and a portion of my portfolio in mutual funds in case I pick badly with individual stocks.

  2. I am a 53 year old, happily married, male that over the past few years has become an investing junkie. My investing style has evolved over the years from a Motley Fool long-term stock investor, to a technical trader that “tries” to read the market and make trades accordingly. I believe in both types of investing and believe that investors need to choice how they invest based on their personal and emotional makeup. In fact I have a few stocks that I plan on holding for many years to come…because I love their stories (TSLA, SBUX and CMG).

    The biggest change that I have made in my investing style is to take bigger “bets” i.e buy larger positions. Following the Fools, I tried to never have one position account for more than 5% of my portfolio, believing that I needed to spread my risk around. I came to realize that limiting my position sizes, also limited the rewards of being right. I now take bigger positions, but I no longer give my trades unlimited time or drawdown to prove themselves.

    Tesla helped me change my view on position sizing….I bought my first and only shares of TSLA about 3 years or so ago at $32 and change and have a huge percentage gain better than 600%. That number looks good, but it has had a very little impact on my overall portfolio since I had to keep this position under 5%. So, today, instead of holding 50 or more stocks, I strive to stay under 15, bet big, let winners run and be fast to cut my losers.

    As an “old man”, I have come to realize how much I have missed by not being blessed with mentors in my life and the struggles I have faced by myself. So, my personal drive (other than providing for my family) is to be a mentor to young investors and help their investing careers get off on the right foot. I love getting instant messages from young men and women, asking the some questions that I had years ago and trying to get them the right answer for their individual situation.

    I can be found at This is my investing blog where I share all my trades, buys and sells, as well as tracking one of my portfolios.

    I hate to say it, but I have not read your book, but I am a big fan of this blog….so much so, that I wish it was required reading by every high school student in the USA. Keep up the great work,


    • Thanks, David. I think I’ve gone the other way – from technical speculator to long term investor after I found that anything I could find technically in the markets was already priced in. Plus I got busy and didn’t have time to make trades and follow prices. I’ve also found that concentrating is important since I’d have stocks that would go up by $20 or $30 per share, yet I’d only make a few thousand dollars because I only had 100 shares.

      Thank you very much for the kind words about the blog. Maybe it will influence some high school students and help them make good economic choices in their lives, even if it is just one student at a time.

  3. Hi Small Investor!
    Im from Estonia and I have followed your blog about half a year now. I have got much information and interesting investing advice from here so thank you for that!
    I am engineer and graduated from university 3 years ago. After graduation I worked 2 years in a company that was specialized in the same field that I studied. After that I created a company myself and about a year I have worked there full-time. Right now Im 25.
    1. When I started working and got better paycheck I took out some consumer loans and car loan. That time I was not very familiar with the personal finance world so my decisions were not very good. I can proudly say that today I have no more loans and I have cleared out my budget. I made a budget for this year and have stayed true to it so far. Also I have been investing every month for over a year.
    2. Professionally I hope to grow my company steadily every year and give 110% of myself to do so. First year we had very rapid growth and now we are breaking sales records every month.
    With my investing I hope to grow passive income by the time I turn 40. By passive income I mean interest profit more than my current salary.
    3. Im not jet financially independent but Im sure it feels great.
    4. Tip that has had most influence to my current financial situation is create a budget, pay of debt and forward percentage of income into investing.
    5. My mother always kept a budget because She was a single mother with low income. So I learned that from her. With investing She was not so encouraging .

    • Excellent! Sounds like you’re on the path to a great place. It is really neat that I can reach the whole world from my living room.

Comments appreciated! What are your thoughts? Questions?

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