I knew nothing about the stock market in junior high. I had to pick $1000 worth of stocks from the newspaper and track their progress for a month. This was 1999 so I loaded up on
Amazon, Apple, and Google a bunch of penny stocks. I remember thinking, “This stock is only 3 cents? It can only go up!” It wasn’t the brightest strategy but I survived. I was the little pig of Wall Street.
Fast forward to Summer ’16, I’m completing the LaunchCode program, a spin of Harvard University’s CS50 course. My milestone project is to create C$50 Finance, a stock trading simulator. My code needed to populate the stock data using the Yahoo! Finance API, allow users to buy and sell stocks and record their transaction history. I was so excited when I finished. I showed a friend how I could buy Tesla stock. The next day I showed another friend how I could sell Tesla stock. I made like 100 fake dollars in one day! I was hooked.
I didn’t know where to begin. No, that’s a lie, I knew exactly where to start. A quick Google search of the “best online brokers for beginners” and I found a new app I recently heard about. My friend Parker mentioned he had used a mobile app called Robinhood. They offer 100% commission-free stock and ETF trades. What’s better than free? Sidenote: Join Robinhood with this link and we’ll both get a share of stock like Apple, Ford, or Sprint for free.
So a few days ago I signed up for a Robinhood account. It was pretty painless. I entered some basic personal info, completed an investment profile, and connected my back account. The next day I received an email stating “Further Identification Required for Account Approval”. In a couple simple steps, I signed into the Robinhood mobile app and snapped a photo of my state issued driver’s license. Today, my account has been approved and is ready to be funded!
I still know nothing. My game plan is to begin by investing around $50 each into 4 different company’s stock. I’m not sure how I will decide which stock to buy but I would like them to be between $5 and $10 per share. In the coming weeks, I’ll share how/why I chose my stocks as well as a review of the Robinhood mobile app. Wish me luck!