Hi Scotch Street fans! For those who are new to Scotch Street, this is a place where we write stream of consciousness posts about personal finance after drinking scotch.
I posted my latest Scotch Street article last week and I am happy to announce that the “Dreamer in Chief” from IdreamofFIRE.com reached out to do his own Scotch Street guest post! I am very happy to have him contribute to Scotch Street. He sent me this photo and asked me to pick his Scotch.
I went with Bowmore Legend (which I have not tried yet). It is a great piece of “financial blogging under the influence.” I hope you enjoy the Dreamer in Chief’s post from IDreamofFIRE.com.
Scotch Street Guest Post
I Dream of FIRE as Told Through Bowmore Legend
There are two sure-fire ways to my heart: talking personal finance and drinking Scotch. When I saw Stock Street Blog’s post under the influence of Jura Origin, I said to myself, “That’s an idea I can get behind.” And then I did what any rational person would do, which is say the same thing to the writer who actually had the idea and offer to write a guest post. For better or worse, my offer was accepted and you get to live with the consequences. If you don’t know, the deal is this: Drink a healthy amount of Scotch (and by that I mean healthy as defined by the Scots, not your physician) and write a stream of thought blog post about something personal financey. That’s a word, despite the red lines spellcheck is putting under it. Just trust me on this. So I sent Stock Street a picture of my Scotch stash and order to pick my poison. The lucky winner was … me, of course. Me and Bowmore Legend, a young Islay with sharp edges but a smooth backside. Make of that what you will. So in honor of my first guest post (if you don’t count me interviewing my 5-year-old daughter for The Lady in the Black’s Kid’s Talk series) I’m going to talk about the one good individual stock purchase I’ve made. You see, I’m now a mild-mannered index fund investor, playing the safe game and reaping the historically better returns for someone who doesn’t know a solid P/E ratio from a hole in the ground. But in my wild days, I made a couple of individual stock purchases that I’m still holding onto. There’s Pandora, which I bought because I had this notion that I would type random letters into the Scottrade search tool until I saw something I liked. I own a whopping six shares, worth $50.40 — about a 50% loss from what I paid. Then there’s Aware (ticker:AWRE) which honest to god I bought thinking it was a different company. Turns out it’s a biometrics technology outfit that has actually done alright by my over the years. My 120 shares are worth just shy of $600, or 29% more than I paid. But the crown jewel — the one stock purchase that if I didn’t know about all the research pushing me to index funds — the stock pick I made that would make any stock picker salivate is Ford. Good old Ford Motor Company. My mom worked for Ford for a long time. I worked there as an intern for two summers schlepping graphic designs and magazines and crap around Dearborn, Mich., in fleet vehicles. The coolest, by the way, was a teeny tiny plastic electric vehicle that only fit two people whose noses weren’t longer than two inches. Anyway, this was 2008, and Ford was suffering like all the other U.S. automakers at the time. It was kind of a bad time for the market in general. Maybe you’ve heard about it? So I don’t exactly remember how I got this idea, but I saw that Ford stock was at $1.50 a share or some ungodly low number. I thought, damn, how is that even possible? It seemed like a low enough price point that I should pick up a few shares. I talked to my mom about how she thought Ford’s prospects were. She wasn’t a high-level executive or anything, so it’s not like I was insider trading. She had just worked there for a long time. She said the new guy in charge, Alan Mullaly, seemed to know what he was doing, and she felt good that Ford would weather the storm and be OK. So I opened a brokerage account and linked my bank account, which took something like three days, so between the time I opened the account and the time I had money in there to actually buy stock the price went up to $2.15 a share. I wasn’t feeling real confident in my investing at the time, so I decided that I had $1,100 I could never see again and still sleep at night. (You can see how wild my “wild days” were. Which totally reminds me of when Taco Bell had Wild Sauce tacos back in the late 80s or early 90s and my grandma would take me and my brother to Taco Bell and we’d order the wild tacos. They would come with this orange sticker on the wrapper that said Wild, and we stuck one of them on my grandma’s license plate to be funny and she left it there for YEARS. I can assure you, my grandma was not wild. … I could really go for some Taco Bell right now.) I bought 507 shares of Ford stock at $2.15 in October of 2008. You know what? Those $1,100 of shares are worth $5,500 right now — a 400% increase! Plus, those suckers started throwing off dividends a few years later, which I’ve got in a DRIP, so now I’ve got 581 shares worth $6,300. Of course, hindsight is 20/20. If I had known that bet was going to pay off so big I could have put in five times that much! What was I thinking?! You know what I was thinking? I was thinking I could lose my ass and look stupid betting on individual stocks I know next to nothing about. Like Pandora. Or like the stock I stupidly thought was something totally different than a biometric technology company but that turned out to be not a bad idea anyway. So that’s my story about buying one good stock. And all you have to do to get me to sit back and tell you about it is break out a mildly peaty Scotch. I’ll also accept Taco Bell, as long as you’re driving.
Thank you for reading Scotch Street. Be sure to visit IDreamofFIRE.com!