What was your first investment?

Discuss all general (i.e. non-personal) investing questions and issues, investing news, and theory.
Posts: 2358
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:34 pm

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by GoldenFinch »

TheDuker wrote:It was 1999. A good friend told me technology stocks were printing money and I was a fool not to invest. I opened an ETrade account and bought $2500 of Janus Global Technology (JAGTX). It kept going up and I kept buying more. Many valuable lessons were learned over the next couple of years. :happy
I had to Google JAGTX. Not pretty.
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:25 am
Location: Northern Indiana

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by plumberboy »

Prudential Utility Fund. Early 1980's
Posts: 2083
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:33 pm

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by fortyofforty »

That's a trip down (painful) memory lane. If I recall, and in no particular order, I was in Gabelli Growth (Elizabeth Bramwell), Lindner Fund (Kurt Lindner), Scudder Global Growth, and Selected American Shares (Donald Yacktman). Funny that I can still remember the names of the fund managers, in some cases. :oops:
User avatar
Whiggish Boffin
Posts: 274
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:20 pm

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by Whiggish Boffin »

In 1983, I opened my first IRA with $513 into the Value Line Leveraged Growth Investors Fund (VALLX), and kept contributing into 2006.

Now, why did I do that? I bought Value Line's story that they could pick winners, so the expense ratio and the use of leverage would be overwhelemed by their expert genius maneuvers.

It was no-load, with 1.13% expense ratio. Rated by Kiplinger's / Changing Times (Nov. 1982) as one of the most consistent top performers, along with Fidelity Magellan, Twentieth Century Growth Investors, Twentieth Century Select Investors, and the Lindner Fund. In 1991, it advertised it had returned twice the S&P500 over the past 15 years. I guess the outperformance all happened in 1976-1982, because I never saw any. The quarterly reports had frequent apologies.

VALLX is now called the Value Line Larger Companies Focused Investors Fund. The Morningstar $10k growth chart since 1983 shows it still hasn't caught the S&P500.

But it did grow, and I kept shoveling money in. Around 2005, I noticed, hey, this is getting to be serious money, and I'd better figure this investment stuff out. I bounced from Harry Dent, to Ben Stein, to Jeremy Siegel, to David Swensen, to Burton Malkiel, to Bogleheads, and here I am still.
User avatar
Posts: 529
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by MNGopher »

My grandfather gifted me AMHOIST (American Hoist and Derick) when I was a young boy.

The company went under soon after.
User avatar
Posts: 4998
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 8:55 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by CABob »

Not including Series E savings bonds that were given to me and a passbook savings account my first "adventure" was an IPO. A friend worked for the company and said the company was going to go public and there was some money to be made. :moneybag I and several other friends bought the IPO at $5/share for 100 shares which was significant amount to me at the time. I held on for a couple of years and eventually sold the shares at $16. Luckily, this experience didn't ruin me for the future and I haven't invested in an IPO since. My friend who initially told me about the "opportunity' had restricted shares and he wasn't able to sell until the company went in the tank.
User avatar
Posts: 1678
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:56 am
Location: US

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by 4nursebee »

What I recall was having stock in a company EAC 20+ years ago. If memory serves me correctly it was this company at the time: http://www.hooverprecision.com/history- ... n-products

Family worked for them, not sure if I am blending stories or not. It was given to me.
I followed the price of gold but never bought.
As an adult, did the VG SP 500 index fund before selling it and buying NFLX around $30 based upon the fool brothers, sold for a small quick gain.
Pale Blue Dot
User avatar
Posts: 710
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:23 am

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by Fieldsy1024 »

2007 100% in Boeing Stock. I fell in backwards into it and wish I had a nice lump sum. It was when I first got hired and met the match in my 401k. I got in when it was 28 a share and got out at 107 (I think). After that I went life cycle.
Posts: 2407
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:20 am

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by Da5id »

Japan Fund and Fidelity Magellan, both after their heyday. Apparently "past performance does not guarantee future results". I was young.

Switched to Vanguard Total Stock Market and Extended Market funds shortly thereafter, back in the day when you had to pay a fee to buy them (.25% and 1% respectively, paid to the fund). Haven't bought a non-index fund since outside of restrictive 401k plans...
User avatar
Posts: 421
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:06 pm

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by Rob54keep »

In 1982, my HR rep thought I should invest in the company 401k. I started investing in company stock and GIC's earning more than 9%! Outside of the 401k, after reading the Mutual Fund ratings in a Money magazine (1986) I decided to start investing in both Vanguard Prime MMA and Fidelity Puritan Fund.
User avatar
Posts: 837
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:23 am
Location: The pub

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by packet »

Fidelity Magellan fund, ~1995/6.

It was my introduction to 401k. I picked Magellan for no particular reason, maybe someone said it was good or something. I had no clue, all I knew was there was matching contributions and it sounded too good to pass up!

Shortly thereafter I was introduced to stock options. I was called into the top dog's office one day, pretty unusual for a lowly IT guy who was hired only a few months prior... I remember being scared outa my mind... how could I be getting in this much trouble when I thought I was knocking the job out of the park!? The guy sat me down and told me I was receiving stock options and that only a select few were getting them and I probably shouldn't tell anyone etc etc. I must have just been staring back in continued panic. He eventually, said, "You know this is a good thing... right? This is a reward for the great job you've been doing." I mumbled the best "thank you" I could muster after being dismissed... :)

I think the stock options are what got me interested in learning more about the real world of investing and saving for retirement. Unfortunately, I didn't discover Bogleheadism for many many years after.

Last edited by packet on Tue May 24, 2016 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
First round’s on me.
Posts: 897
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:03 pm

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by JimmyD »

$1,000 in ISIS Pharmaceuticals (now IONIS Pharmaceuticals) back in 2002.

I had no idea what I was doing, but I read a compelling article (likely on Motley Fool) that convinced me that it was a great deal after the 25% slide with huge upside potential. I held onto it for a couple years, but eventually got bored and sold for a loss to invest in another Motley Fool pick, Select Comfort. Made a few bucks on that one, but nothing to write home about.

It was shortly thereafter that I discovered the Boglehead philosophy and it's been smooth sailing ever since. Now, I hold zero in individual stocks and only invest in low cost index funds according to a defined, tax-efficient and risk-based asset allocation strategy.
Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:59 pm

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by ANC »

Kemper Money Market Fund during the high inflation of the late 1970's. If I recall correctly, during its peak it was earning something like 1.2%-1.5% per month (not year).
User avatar
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:25 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by Boomer01 »

When I was in high school I set up an account with Janus and began contributing $100/month into the Growth and Income Fund.
User avatar
Posts: 180
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:41 pm

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by Timoneer »

Westinghouse, back in the 1960's. I was a teenager interested in electronics and I read about Westinghouse developing a new lithography process for making these newfangled integrated circuits. With my savings of maybe $100 or $200, I asked my father to place an order for some stock with his broker. I kept waiting for the stock to spike but it never happened. I sold it a few years later at a modest gain to help pay for college expenses.
Only time I ever bought an individual stock.
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:51 pm

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by best2u »

I bought a Hereford steer when I was ten years old. Called it dynamite. Won a red ribbon and a blue ribbon at the county fair. Had a tear in my eye when it went to slaughter. After all expenses my net profit was like $40 to $50.
Posts: 592
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:35 am

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by Alchemist »

USSPX (USAA's S&P 500 index fund) back in mid-2009 when I opened my Roth IRA upon graduating college and starting my career (military officer). It isn't the best index fund with an expense ration of .25 but hardly the worst place to start. I actually kept that until USAA switched their IRA's to brokerage and I was able to trade it for FUSVX (Spartan 500 fund) for no transaction costs and drop the expense ratio down to .06. Yes I could have gone with a TSM fund but I like having the S&P 500 as my Roth IRA's only holding for personal reasons. I do, however, hold VTSAX in my taxable account.
User avatar
Posts: 5444
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:28 pm

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by dodecahedron »

Passbook saving account, circa 1960. Interest rate was 4%, capped by the federal regulatory ceiling. As I recall, the minimum balance to open was $5, and the bank gave me a free Brownie camera as a premium for opening the account with that minimum. I believe my paternal grandmother set me up with it and I faithfully deposited gifts and earnings from babysitting over the years.

If you don't count that, then there's the single share of Brunswick Corporation common stock my other grandmother gifted me for my 8th grade graduation in 1967. Her basis was about $8 and quarterly dividends were 2 cents at first (and although they grew, they were consistently less than the postage required to mail the dividends for many years afterwards.) I eventually signed up for dividend reinvestment program to simplify my life. The stock split a few times so I wound up with 9 point something or other shares in the end. Odd lot commissions were too high to consider selling but eventually about 25 years later the company made me an offer I couldn't refuse--they bought me out at market value for around $100, with no transactions costs on my part.

It was fun and educational following the stock in the paper all those years and reading the annual reports too. All in all a good investment by my grandmothers.
User avatar
Posts: 2714
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 5:42 pm

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by 22twain »

ANC wrote:Kemper Money Market Fund during the high inflation of the late 1970's. If I recall correctly, during its peak it was earning something like 1.2%-1.5% per month (not year).
That was my first investment, too, besides bank checking and savings accounts. That fund replaced my savings account until interest rates receded in the mid 1980s. Thanks for jogging my memory! I remembered the money market fund, but I had forgotten the name.

Then when i got my first "real job" after graduate school, I started with a TIAA 403(b) plan, splitting my contributions 50/50 between TIAA Traditional and CREF Stock. I'm still doing it, more than 30 years later, with a different employer.
Epitaph: Here lies the noble word "princiPAL", smothered by its like-sounding impostor "princiPLE". May it rest in piece!
Posts: 156
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:24 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by gary11 »

Some Dean Witter stock growth fund - I may still have paper trails. This was back in 1997. I vividly remember stopping by to their office and writing the check for $1500 and feeling odd about only $1350 being invested into fund. I was still year or yeah and half away from finding out about Vanguard and Diehards forum on M*. And then also it would still take me few more years to end all of my non-Vanguard experiments (aka Janus etc.). Good times!
User avatar
Posts: 2464
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:09 pm
Location: Louisiana

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by ofcmetz »

I bought Wal-Mart stock while employed there in college in 1998ish. I remember selling this stock along with some of my wife's Home Depot stock to help pay for our wedding and honeymoon. I haven't bought any individual stocks since then.
Never underestimate the power of the force of low cost index funds.
Posts: 1459
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by Atilla »

First investment was some kind of moderate fund through my 401K that held a healthy slug of bonds.

This was leading into and through the dot com bubble so even though I was way too conservatively invested for my age at the time it turned out well.
User avatar
Posts: 757
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:50 pm
Location: Nashville TN

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by topper1296 »

EE Saving Bonds that had a rate of ~8% at the time.
User avatar
Posts: 4457
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:27 pm
Location: Buffalo,NY

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by joe8d »

20th Century Growth Fund.
All the Best, | Joe
User avatar
Posts: 656
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:43 pm
Location: Extremistan

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by EyeYield »

Coca Cola KO - 10 Shares - My first DRIP certificate, bought sometime in the mid '60's - Jt Ten with my mom at her suggestion.
Sentimentally in my safety deposit box, still reinvesting the divs.
Haven't added to it in years.

Or was it Allied Chemical? - Bought them both in the same time frame.
"The stock market is a giant distraction from the business of investing." - Jack Bogle
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:50 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by GMan82 »

JALGX. John Hancock Lifestyle Growth Class A shares. I was about 28 years old and halfway through my medical residency. The plus? My financial advisor got me invested and into appropriate disability. The minuses? 1. 5% of my monthly contributions disappeared into someone else's pocket, but still counted as part of my Roth contribution for the year, even though it didn't enter my account. 2. Listed ER of about 1.37%, though Net is about 0.47%.

I read the White Coat Investor and the Boglehead's Guide to Investing last year and then quickly dropped that fund and transferred to Vanguard where I've joined the ranks of the Boglehead's.

User avatar
Posts: 3733
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 3:36 pm

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by Doom&Gloom »

Aside from passbook savings and EE bonds:

1974: Deere, Merck, Pfizer, Johns Manville, and Kennecott Copper IIRC.
User avatar
Posts: 5680
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:05 pm
Location: Indiana, retired 1998 at age 65

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by Sheepdog »

In the WWII period, as a boy, I purchased $25 War Bonds at school. They cost $18.75 each. Later, as an adult, with other than savings accounts and CDs, it was The Wellington Fund, in the 1960s, before Vanguard was started. Wellington was later purchased by Vanguard. That Wellington had been inherited by my wife from her grandfather who purchased it in the 1930s.
My first purchase was PPG stock starting in 1963, Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. then, as a company stock purchase plan. Then in the mid 60s I read about something called a mutual fund. I purchased the T. Rowe Price fund....they had only one called just that, if I remember correctly.
All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
Posts: 349
Joined: Wed May 14, 2014 9:01 am

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by fmzip »

First Investors Variable Life Policy in 1993....

Still have it today but ridded myself of the Financial advisor that sold it to me when I found Bogleheads just a few short years ago :wink:
Posts: 657
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:41 pm

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by sharpjm »

~$700 in Intel in high school. After a few months I sold and it was enough of a profit to buy a new intel processor :D
Posts: 1027
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:16 am

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by Swansea »

A CD yielding 9.25%.
Dead Man Walking
Posts: 1052
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:51 pm

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by Dead Man Walking »

Magellan when Peter Lynch was manager and Windsor when John Neff was manager - thought it was a good balance of growth and value.

Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:31 pm

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by Spikeman1444 »

Swansea wrote:A CD yielding 9.25%.
dang. Those must've been the days.
Posts: 117
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:05 pm

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by krannerd »

12 shares of Papa John's Pizza shortly after IPO. Gave it away a few years ago after it was up 2000%....cost basis adjusted was $2 a share and gave it away at $45.

All other investments since have been a disappointment. Hence, I am in index funds now.
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 11:00 am

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by RVosen »

I had two or three short term CDs in high school and just after high school
Posts: 2872
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:52 pm
Location: San Diego

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by travellight »

Bought a house for 80,000$ when I was 21. I sold it at age 25 for $125,000. The neighbors were shocked it had gone up like that.
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:45 am

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by runner23 »

I may be off a few details off but close enough. The first trade I made was for 100 shares of ford at 1.37 in about 2008. I sold at 2.35 I think. I was 18. I also wanted to buy Gm. I accidentally typed I dm. That was Dolan media. I looked at the chart and as a value oriented 15 year old bought 100 shares. I think it was around 3.00. I sold all for 3.50 a share. I think Dolan media went bankrupt and ford is, well, it survived. Anyways, I'm all index now. I tried my hand at stock picking in my twenties and it was too much stress. I am a die hard boglehead at 26. Cheers.
Posts: 347
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:23 am

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by BrooklynInvest »

After college, early 90s. My girlfriend's dad explained to me what a mutual fund was and told me to put $50 a month into 20th (now American) Century Ultra. $50 bucks was a lot of money to me at the time but I learned one of the most important lessons of my life -

At the end of the year I'd made $79 - without breaking a sweat.

I'd worked my way through college delivering pizza, unloading trucks and doing whatever I could to pay tuition and rent. Hard, hot work. Making that $79 without lifting a finger, well that lesson was worth a lot more than $79.
Posts: 2600
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Rancho Mirage, CA

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by sschullo »

Back in the 60s during the 'Nam War, I bought bonds when I was in the military.
I had to sell them five years later to overall the engine in my beat up VW. The bank would not use the bonds as collateral for a loan.
"We have seen much more money made and kept by “ordinary people” who were temperamentally well suited for the investment process than by those who lacked this quality." Ben Graham
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat May 21, 2016 4:21 pm

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by flippinterp »

My family made some investments on my behalf when I was a late teenager/young adult in college. It was a combination of Royce Pennsylvania Fund, Royce Total Return, and Western Asset Premier Bond fund. While technically the account was in my name, I didn't really take control of those funds until after I got married.

The first fund I chose myself was Vanguard's Lifestrategy Growth when I first opened a Roth IRA. I still have it :D
Rich in Michigan
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:27 pm

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by Rich in Michigan »

Was introduced to a broker by a friend in the mid 70's. Bought some shares in Mohawk Data, which were later sold at a nice profit for down payment on a condo. The company later went bankrupt.

The other stock I bought at the same time was Combustion Equipment Associates. I still have the lovely certificates, which only have value as collectables, as that company too went toes up.

In a few years I left that broker and managed my own investments from age 30-ish onward. He did recommend a few more winners than losers though.
User avatar
Posts: 980
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:20 pm

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by StormShadow »

After reading up on stocks and mutual funds at the library... I started buying shares of Janus Worldwide managed by then rising star Helen Young Hayes. I was in college using money from a part time tutoring gig.

She left a few years later. Worldwide tanked like everyone else during the dot-com bubble.

Discovered Vanguard in the mid 2000's and have been with them ever since.
User avatar
Posts: 446
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:05 am

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by corner559 »

Tiffany stock from my parents when I was in high school.
Posts: 290
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:08 pm

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by bs010101 »

Yes! Mine was in 1999 as well. I don't remember which stock was first but pretty sure it was sent to the glue factory within a year or two.
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 12:21 pm

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by jtdavid »

I was a Sophomore in college. First investment was the SPY ETF in a Datek account. Purchased in late September 2001 a week or two after the markets reopened.

About a year later I moved from Datek to Vanguard and bought VFINX and STAR.
User avatar
Posts: 786
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:04 am
Location: U.S.A.

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by Garco »

I was given some stock in a now-defunct company: Sundance Oil Co. This was an oil and gas exploration company. I kept it for a few years, then turned it over after the company was effectively crushed by the Western Provinces of Canada.
Hank Moody
Posts: 275
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:41 pm

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by Hank Moody »

I bought Japan Fund when I was in junior high school with $50 of my own money and $50 borrowed from my father. The stock quadrupled and I used the proceeds (after repaying my father) to buy a Nikon F.
jnet2000 wrote:I thought it would be fun to hear what investments other Bogeleheads got started with. I found my first statement from Schwab from the mid 90s while I was cleaning my home office.

I bought a Invesco's Blue Chip Growth Fund in a brokerage account. I think I saw an ad for it somewhere because I had no clue about investing at age 18.

What was yours?
Last edited by Hank Moody on Sun May 29, 2016 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 962
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:58 pm

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by cheesepep »

I bought quite a few shares of AAPL in the mid 1990s. Bought at $32 or so and sold soon afterwards for $96. Made quite a bit of money but would have made a lot more if I had held on. Seriously my first stock investment.
User avatar
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed May 04, 2016 2:59 am

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by VirtualCuriosity »

Early 90's, Fidelity Magellan Fund
Posts: 1028
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:07 am

Re: What was your first investment?

Post by Stormbringer »

I was 24, received a big bonus at work and used it to buy my 4-unit first apartment building.
“The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.” - Albert Allen Bartlett
Post Reply