Wednesday, August 11, 1999

Confessions of a Thirtysomething Lurker


Bless me, Jester, for I have sinned.

My wrongdoing? Not having jumped into the investing world before now.

I have been lurking on the Fool website for about eight or nine months now. I've absorbed so much information, yet I feel there's so much I don't have a clue about. I love the intelligence, the community, the optimists, the realists, the naysayers and the sheer bulk of real knowledge.

My pretend portfolio is up 5.41% since its February inception. (DoubleClick at $121 5/8?) Hey, I'm still learning. A few months ago I sent away for my first share in a publicly held company, after attending Fool's School, of course.

I was pretty excited after reading all about DRIP accounts over the last few months. My wife and I manage a small apartment building. We need the money we receive for this service in our everyday life. The $50 or $60 dollars we take out of the coin washer and dryer every month, however, wasn't earmarked for anything special. (Lightbulb goes on overhead.)

We've now begun a DRIP with Coke and plan to open another with (probably) Johnson & Johnson later this year. Currently, that's about all we can afford. My DRIP makes me feel good. I've found that the pleasure is in the process. We get the quarters on the same day every month. We roll the quarters. We take the quarters to the bank. We send off a check. The other day I received a statement from Coca-Cola. I saw that we had 16 cents of reinvested dividends. WOW.

That tiny, tiny amount gave me such a thrill. I'm doing it! I've entered the investing world AND I'm being Foolish. I'm putting my financial future in my own hands. I'm just like all those people at! I think I'll treat myself to some penance for the years I wasn't Foolish -- maybe a Coke ice-cream float.

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