Thursday, June 17, 1999

Days of Stocks and Roses

by Utahna Faith (NolaChere)

For the first time ever, I have a legitimate excuse for staying home in my pajamas all morning; I am an online investor.

I've tried various occupations since graduating with a liberal arts degree a decade ago, including clerking at a hippy bookstore in Los Angeles, owning and operating a coffee house on a Caribbean island, and smiling and serving pretzels at 35,000 feet. (Not to mention a mind-numbing stint at a pizza place and a soul-numbing eight months at a bank.)

Now I drag myself out of bed at 8:15 my time, just in time for the East Coast market opening, make myself a cup of cafe-au-lait, and plop down in front of my computer. As I check stocks, news, market indicators, Breakfast with the Fool and CNNFn, I steal glances out the window at birds in the feeder, squirrels in the trees, honeysuckle, and roses blooming in my backyard.

Though I am occasionally glued to the screen for hours, watching one of my holdings skyrocket or tank, crossing my fingers and holding my breath, most days are relatively peaceful. Between my research and monitoring, I can make breakfast, water the flowers, weed my garden, work on my novel or read someone else's novel. I can have lunch with my partner, listen to "All Things Considered," and cook up a pot of seafood gumbo or Caribbean calaloo.

The best thing, the beautiful thing, is the freedom. No one can write me up for staring out the window; no one can criticize me for writing poetry in the margins of a spread sheet. I can listen to Ella Fitzgerald while I work if I choose to, I can take a break when I feel like it, I can make money without wearing shoes.

I am in love with this new investing life and hope I can be wise enough, Foolish enough, lucky enough for it to continue.

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