Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been looking for ways to make my money work for me. My first investment was silver. The funny thing is, it didn’t start as an investment. It started as a way to earn some money.
Back then, I’d do anything to pick up more than my measly allowance. One of my neighbors suggested that I help her out by rolling up all the coins she’d accumulated over the decades and taking them to the bank. It was the days before Coinstar machines, so I negotiated a hefty 10 percent fee.
While going through the coins, some of them felt different — the pre-1964 U.S. coins that contained 90 percent silver. Sure, silver was only $5 an ounce or so at the time, but that meant a pre-1964 dime contained about 50 cents in silver. My neighbor and I agreed ahead of time that the payment for my help would include these pre-1964 coins, earning me a nice little profit for my work.
As I got older, I’d talk with my parents about companies, which led me to the idea of stock investing. The notion that your money could go off and make more money while you did nothing had an immediate appeal to me. With the help of my folks, I opened up a brokerage account in middle school with some savings and got started with mutual funds.
By my late teens, I had a Roth IRA from a “real” job and had gotten into investing in individual stocks. I’ve never looked back.
Needless to say, my portfolio has advanced a long way from there in the two-plus decades since. And my expanding interest in the financial world made choosing my college major a no-brainer — I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Principia College and then dove headfirst into real estate research and private equity after graduation.
On a personal investing front, I discovered the realm of options years ago, and that not only transformed my way of thinking about investing, but also opened up a world of new prospects to ferret out profits and income from the markets.
From that point on, I was absolutely hooked on trading. Not only that, my interest was piqued as far as hunting down ways to get an edge on other investors. That’s because in options, for every bet you make, there’s someone on the other side of the trade who is thinking the exact opposite of you. So in winning much more than I was losing, I’ve discovered there are in fact many pockets of opportunity . . . stones unturned by the investing masses.
And that led me to the idea behind the Insider Hotline service.
Here, we essentially spy — legally, of course — on the stock trades of CEOs and other key players in publicly traded companies. Are they buying shares in their own companies? Are they selling? What are the trends in their trading? Based on those “insider” clues, we can pinpoint stocks that we should take a closer look at, to see what the market at large might be missing on a fundamental basis.
Insider Hotline was born of my experience with a number of other financial outlets. I currently serve as the senior financial editor of the Financial Braintrust and frequently contribute articles to the Financial Intelligence Report newsletter. I’ve also written two well-received books, The Aftershock High Income Guide and Uncharted: Your Guide to Investing in the Age of Uncertainty.
Through my experiences in the stock and options market, I’ve learned an important approach that I use for everything I invest in: The overriding goal is to lessen risk as much as possible, while still venturing beyond the limited scope of the Dow Jones Industrial Average mega companies.
I’m excited that you’ve chosen to join me. Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be digging deeper into the markets than most investors choose to go. There, we’ll find a lot of interesting and profitable ways to turn our “insider information” into longer-term gains.
Whether you’re new to investing or a seasoned pro, the Insider Hotline will become an invaluable tool in your quest for investing success.