Wednesday, April 7, 1999

My First Day As a Fool

by Sharon Herman

I remember my first day as a true Fool very well, even if my broker doesn't. It was back in September of 1995. I had decided to invest some hard-earned cash in the stock market and had done all of my homework. Then I called a broker.

The broker didn't like the fact that I only wanted to buy a few shares of seven different stocks. He didn't like the stocks I wanted to buy. He didn't understand that DRIPs were a great way to go for someone who despised mutual funds and wanted to invest a few bucks a month.

After arguing with him a bit, he bought my chosen stocks: Coca-Cola, Merck, Warner-Lambert, General Electric, Gillette, McDonald's, and Clorox. He told me the prices were at their highs and that it didn't make sense to buy any of those companies. I told him, "Hey, I'm in for the long haul, it's not going to matter." He processed the stock buys for me. I told him that I'd call in a year and see if he should eat crow. He laughed. After all, I was a 26-year-old female, what did I know?

A year went buy, and my portfolio was up 46%. I called the broker. Of course, he claimed that he didn't remember our conversation.

I have gone on to using an online discount broker since then. McDonald's, Coke, and Gillette are gone. Sun Microsystems, American Eagle, and America Online have taken their place. I don't keep all DRIPs anymore since I've done well enough to buy and sell in a more traditional fashion.

I love the Internet. It allows all of us Fools to research what we want when we want. Who needs full-priced brokers? And what was that guy's name, anyway? Funny, I can't remember it now.

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