Dear Financial Samurais,
I just remembered a long lost memory after sharing the Financial Samurai Forum was now live that changed the course of my life forever. When I was at The College of William & Mary (1995-1999), I was a stock market forum junkie.
Every day, I’d log in to see what stocks venerable members were pitching. I’d share my own ideas as a novice investor as well. The feedback I got from forum members was priceless because it allowed me to understand many of the holes in my arguments.
I’d purposefully schedule classes around the stock market open and close so I could sit in front my of my big laptop computer with a forum tab open, an online trading account open, and CNBC turned on. On the two days a week I didn’t have class as a senior, I remember sitting at my desk for 6+ hours straight, only moving to take a pee break.
The biggest win came when I bought BAMM (Books-A-Million) in the morning, and made ~$2,000 by the time I got back from class in the afternoon. There was no smartphone back then. It was sometime in November 1998 when the stock price went from $3 to $39 in a couple days as we entered the height of the dotcom mania. Ah, the good times!
$2,000 was a fortune back then for a college senior. I proceeded to buy my Spanish Housemates some cigars and some sangria to share in the wealth. I’m certain that my forum addiction and infatuation with stocks helped me get through the 55 interview gauntlet at GS that winter of 1998.
Being able to work in equities at a major financial firm has helped me better learn how to manage my own investments. This skill is crucial for achieving financial independence and staying financially independent. Meanwhile, my experience has helped me write better investment-related articles, which has allowed Financial Samurai to grow.
So you see, small things can make a big difference in your life later on. But at the time, it’s really hard to tell what type of difference it will make in the future.
With the launch of the Financial Samurai Forum 20+ years later, I feel like a college kid again, full of excitement and hope. But instead of being the young grasshopper, I’m the grizzled veteran who is trying to do his best to warn less experienced folks not to lose their head now that the mania is back in full force.
Yes, it is awesome to make money after taking a risk. But it feels much worse to lose a lot of your hard earned money in an investment gone wrong as this latest correction has reminded us. Risk management is key.
To recap, being a financial forum participant helped me:
- Get one of the best jobs on Wall Street, a sales and trading position at Goldman Sachs in the equities department
- Allowed me to become a better investor
- Enabled me to more quickly build my fortune to be financially independent
- Retire from full-time work at age 34
- Start Financial Samurai in 2009 and make it into one of the largest independent personal finance sites in the world today
How might participating in the Financial Samurai Forum change your life? See you around the FSF!
About the Author: Sam began investing his own money ever since he opened an online brokerage account in 1995. Sam loved investing so much that he decided to make a career out of investing by spending the next 13 years after college working at two of the leading financial service firms in the world. During this time, Sam received his MBA from UC Berkeley with a focus on finance and real estate. He also became Series 7 and Series 63 registered.
In 2012, Sam was able to retire at the age of 34 largely due to his investments that now generate roughly $200,000 a year in passive income. He spends time playing tennis, hanging out with family, consulting for leading fintech companies and writing online to help others achieve financial freedom.
FinancialSamurai.com was started in 2009 and is one of the most trusted personal finance sites today with over 1.5 million organic pageviews a month. Financial Samurai has been featured in top publications such as the LA Times, The Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal.