My First Shares Of Stock Ever Purchased

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I was going through some old financial files and came across an old E-Trade statement which was my first brokerage account and found my first shares of stocks ever purchased in August of 2001. This was after the dot-com bubble burst, and I was still in grad school. I had managed to save up $1,000 and promptly invested it after pretty much zero research:

  • 11 shares of Budweisder (BUD) at $43.04. Budweiser was bought by foreign conglomerate InBev in 2008 at $70 a share, but after that I’m not sure how to evaluate performance.
  • 12 shares of Pfizer (PFE) at $38.31. As of yesterday 9/2/10, PFE closed at $16.40 with about $0.75 to $1.25 a year in dividends.

People were pretty depressed about the markets back too, so I guess I figured beer and happy pills was a growth industry. 🙂

Do you have any special memories attached to your first stock purchase?

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  1. A few shares if aapl at 54… Tracked it relentlessly. Sold waaaaay too soon. Thought, how much hirer can it go around 80…

    /comment typed from my brand new iPad. Man, I missed the train on the one.

  2. *Higher… Thx iPad auto correct.

  3. Ken in Georgia says

    Home Depot, which I saw double in a short period but has had good and not-so-good years since. Also Southern Company (an electiric utilily holding company) for no other reason than it was Atlanta-based and I though it the right thing to do. It pays a nice quarterly dividend which has cushioned my portfolio in down years. Bought Coca-Cola for the same reason, and it’s done okay over time.

    BTW, my wife owned some shares of BUD. I would say calcualting your return on the stock pretty much ended when you received your cash disbursement from the buyout — the same as selling. I always found it odd that shareholders were not offered to exchange shares of the old BUD for InBev.

  4. As I recall my first stock purchase was Gateway 2000 (the computer company) in 1999 I believe. The shares didn’t do much and eventually the company floundered and was taken over a few years back for a few dollars a share. The best thing I ever got from the stock though was a coupon for $200 off a gateway computer, which I used when I was buying my new computer for college. In the end the coupon was worth more than the stock.

  5. Kicking myself for not just buying I-bonds back in 2001! No risk, great rate & tax deffered! The best saying I have ever heard regarding the market is: it is full of regrets, regretting not buying at a lower price, regretting not selling at a higher price, buying A instead of B. etc, etc. It is fun & painful to look back. Good luck in the future!

  6. Beer and Viagra huh? Start with what you know.

  7. In the mid nineties, I spent a few hundred dollars on about 10 shares of Mindspring (doesn’t exist anymore, was MSPG), which, over the course of the year, kept splitting and rising…this was during the tech bubble. A few months later, it got bought by Earthlink and still kept splitting and rising. Every time the stock split, it would go up. Eventually, I sold it and made $10,000 profit. My original investment was less than $400, and it took me about a year and a half or so to get there. Unbelievable. I wish I could do that today.

  8. 100 Shares of ORCL sometime in 97-98? Watched it split 2-3 times (one of those weird 3:2 splits so I remember buying another 150 shares or 50 shares to make things even) and it was 10x my cost basis at the high point. Held it through the tech wreck and finally had to sell it for 2x cost basis when WAMU went to $0 in 2008 (basically canceled out the loss).

    I’ve bought it back and it’s not gone anywhere but at least they pay (measely) dividends now.

  9. I have memories, but they are not particularly fond ones. It was 1998, shortly before eBay took off. I had $1000 and was going to buy as many eBay shares as I could after their IPO. I thought that it was a great idea for a website and would probably do well. But, at the last minute, I changed my mind and thought it was a bit too risky, so I went for shares of Symantec and Prepaid Legal. Little did I know that I could have financed most of my college education if I had gone for the shares of eBay.

  10. The only stocks I have are one’s I’ve inherited from family members. I’ve just watched them decrease in value over the last couple of years… No really personal connection to any of them.

  11. My first stock was the Brown Group, now called the Brown Shoe Company (BWS). I also bought Phoenix Technology, which was bought out. I have fond memories of going over the stock symbols and P/E ratios in the local newspaper to choose my first two stocks. (Small print or not, I had fun reviewing those numbers.) Then, I had to call Schwab (at that time, the only game in town for small individual investors) to place the trade using my telephone’s keypad.

    The individual investor has come a long way, no?

  12. I bought Commodore Computers at $7, watched it go to $20, then watched it go bankrupt…

    Lost an entire summer’s lawn mowing money on that one…

    I really loved their Amiga computer… thought it was the next best thing (and it should have been!)

  13. My first stock purchase was $500 of Progress Energy (PGN) through a direct purchase program in 2004. I reinvested all the dividends and added extra money a few times over the years. I sold all of my shares this year for a total return of 11% (including dividends).

  14. The first equity purchase I made was an expensive mutual fund with a load back in 1999. (I had no idea what I was doing, invested through my bank.)

    The first individual stock purchase I made was was Scores (yes the strip club) at $0.008 a share (yes eight-tenths of a cent) back in 2006. I owned 100,000 shares, lol. I sold for about break-even in 2008, and learned that TurboTax has a five digit limit on the number of shares you can enter, lol. The stock has since climbed to $0.07 a share; I missed out on an almost 1000% return!

    I’m a Boglehead now.

  15. As I am a Boglehead at heart, my early purchases were all mutual funds, so one of my first straight stocks was Ruger Firearms (RGR) in 2008. Knowing that left wing politicians are like moths who cannot stop flying into the flame of gun control laws, and that the stock was trading at multi year lows, I bought shares at around $6. Sure enough, after Obama was elected the left started talking about new gun laws and the price shot to $10. I waited and it bounced around, and then with the post-crash rebound it shot to over $17 per share on an apparent short squeeze. I sold at $16.85 in early 2010 and now it’s trading at $13 or so. Its price never makes sense on valuation (only on the political environment), but I’d buy it again if it drops below $8 or so.

    (Let’s not talk about my earlier mutual funds purchases that crashed hard during the real estate meltdown, or my completely wrong views on Apple and Google in the old days.)

  16. My first stock is Berkshire Hathaway B class (BRK.B) After the split it the buy price was $59/share and trading now are ~$81. I didn’t buy at the discount to the book value (~$50) , missed the march 09 lows. But at the current valuation its well below the intrinsic value , a discount of 40 %. i think its good stock for a buy and hold person like me.

  17. Would cashing out my small but not too small 401K in 2005 while family and friends laughed and buying precious metals when gold was ~US$425/oz and silver was ~$7/oz count?

  18. I’m only 23, I purchased my first real shares of stock about a month or so ago. FSYS at 26.99, closed friday at 35.30. It’s a shame I could only afford a few shares…could have made some serious profit on that.

  19. I was 15 when I made my first stock purchases. My dad gave me $1,000, and I basically read the day’s closing prices and YTD to make my decision. This was back in 1999 when everything was overpriced.

    Chose Intel & General Motors. Of course I kept GM till the bitter end haha. If I had just put that $1,000 in CDs all this time it would be worth something. Probably ruined my faith in investing.

  20. In 1999, during college I had a PC with a Maxtor HD. So I bought $500 of Maxtor. Then that summer I interned at Agilent Technology so I sold my Maxtor (still at about $500) and bought Agilent. Then the tech market crashed and I read online that I should hold on to the stock for long term. So, I waited and waited for the market to recover and it never did. So, after a few years I finally sold the remaining stocks for $250. Since then, the only stocks I invest in are index funds.

  21. Bought SanDisk (SNDK) in May 2005 when flash memory was getting popular. I think I bought something like 30 shares through sharebuilder for $25 and then when the stock went up to $40 three months later I sold. By Dec 2005 the stock hit $75 and is now back where I sold it.

  22. wow, memory lane. Bought Qualcomm after a 4:1 split and got burned so big time through the tech bubble. Also bought options of Intel and Coca Cola and lost my entire $2K investment after telling my wife ‘we’re going to make so much money’ HA! oh the ignorance of youth. and the rip off artist Wade Cook 🙁

  23. Bought 8 shares of APOL (Apollo Group…i.e University of Phoenix) for $78 in 2005. I primarily bought it because Morningstar gave it 5 stars. Also, I thought that a US accredited university would do well over seas. I sold it 2 years later for $48, and used the cash for closing costs on my first house. Turns out that I bought near its all time high. Now listed as $45…and Morningstar still gives it 5 stars.

  24. Here’s a story. Bought one million shares of EESO at 0.0007. Basically a totally blind penny stock investment that cost me 700$. Forgot about it for a while and suddenly started seeing some movement. Sold a few at 0.0012, 0.002 and then waited. I saw it go all the way up to 0.05. ATt one point, my total gain was 40,000$. Didn’t sell on the news that the company was going to be acquired. Was greedy and was waiting for it to to go 15 cents or so. Can’t believe I was so dumb, and could be so lucky. Didn’t sell a single stock only to see it tank to the same levels that I bought it at. Turned out to be quite a scam but could’ve made so much money on it.

  25. After the crash in 2000 I got into a financial crunch on real estate and had to raise a lot of money, had a choice of selling Pets Mart or Mitk and like a fool sole 8000 shares of Pet Mart at 2 1/4 and 2 3/8 in a few months it recovered and later hit over 30 , I could have made a fortune ,, Mitk? I finally took my losses and it is still out there at under $2 I had bought some at around $15 so you know the rest of the story.

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