Thursday, July 22, 1999

The Chuck Schwab Carpad

by by

I am a Foolish, small stock investor. Many years ago, I purchased Schwab stock when it went public at $16. I later Foolishly converted it to a dividend reinvestment account and sent $25-$50 periodically to purchase additional stock, regardless of the price.

My good friend is in upper management at Schwab. She dumped all of her stock at $22 and advised me to do the same because online trading would kill Schwab. I did not listen. Later, my stockbroker said dump it at $28 for the same reason as my friend. I ignored him (that's why I pay him the big commissions, but that's another Fribble).

Last summer, my husband and I needed $28,000 to build a carpad on a hillside behind our home in Marin County. This investment would add over $50,000 to the value of our home. I sold the bulk of my stock at $45 to finance the venture. Schwab currently fluctuates around $95. However, I feel like the added value to our house is the same as selling my stock at $90.

While opinions and advice are useful, be wary of well-meaning employees of companies with which you are invested. My friend is now quite busy attending farewell parties of departing millionaire co-workers.

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