Happy Tuesday #Jontourage,
Welcome back to the “Classy Gent Chronicles”, where staying classy is the only way to be. Let's jump right into it....
Money is something we all need to get things for survival (shelter, food, clothing). We often find ourselves stressed out because of money. Why? Usually because our expenses are greater than our income. There are two ways to fix that issue, reduce your spending and/or increase your income. I know what you are thinking, what if I can make any more money than I already make at work? Well who said anything about getting raise at work? You can add to your streams of income by investing like I did. Okay story time folks…
So back in 2014, I knew I wanted to invest money in the stock market. Only two issues with that wish, I didn’t have the money or the knowledge to do so. I remember telling my mom that I wanted Amazon stock which at the time was only like $200. My mom, also not knowing anything about investing either, never got me any. Today Amazon stock is worth approximately $1,000 which would have been a great opportunity for me. I have forgiven her for not getting me any stock at the time.
Nonetheless, 2015 rolls around and I remember after a conversation with my grandfather, he encourages me to call the bank and ask my questions to them. I was extremely nervous to talk to them because for some odd reason, I used to feel like people judged you if you didn’t learn things by a certain age. After talking with my friends, I realized a lot of us in our 20’s didn’t know much about investing so I stopped beating myself up so much. For me, I always thought you had to have like $10,000 saved up to invest. I didn’t have that type of my money so I figured investing would become a later in life goal for me. After talking with the bank representative, she helped me realize how much goal setting I really needed to do before I investing. Usually when you invest, there is an end goal in mind (college savings, buying a home, better retirement plan, etc.) I had to figure out what my goals were for investing.
Months later, I had a summer job where I ended up meeting a guy named Leo. Leo was older than me by about 20 years and had invested a lot into the stock market. I was truly grateful God introduced me to someone that had done something I aspired to do. Almost every shift where we worked together we talked about investing. When the time came for me to invest, I felt confident in my decision to do so. I started out investing about $350 when I purchased some Apple and Netflix stock. Once I pressed “submit order” on the computer, a sigh of relief came over me. At 24 years old, I had accomplished a goal, one that I didn’t even expect to accomplish until my 40’s.
After that I continued to do more research on it, I watched videos, attended workshops, followed financial growth social media pages, and even took an online class on investing (got an A+ in the class.) From there, I knew I wanted to expand some more. After that I decided to purchase a marijuana stock called Cannagrow followed up by Crown Castle International Inc. and most recently Sirius XM Radio stock. With each decision to purchase a stock, I did my best to do adequate research and those were all stocks that came highly recommended for now. I say for now because nothing last forever (ask Blockbuster about that).
Investing in the stock market certainly is not the end of all be all for everyone and there are certainly other investments you can make (real estate, investing in businesses, and much more) but you must make the decision for yourself if you could stand to use a couple extra dollars. I am sure the answer is yes. For me investing was a process that taught me patience, resilience, and the importance of speaking up.
Moral of the story: If I relied on my old ways of thinking, I would have kept waiting until I had $10,000 to invest. I would missed out on great opportunities to invest in companies will the costs were relatively low. Change your mindset, change your circumstances. What questions have you always had about investing?
Remember, in order to live out your dreams, you have to think it, feel it, live it! Until next time, stay classy...
Jonathan C. Harris is no stranger to leadership, hard work, or success. At the age of ten years old, he earned the right to be a guest weatherman for a day on Fox 5 DC News. He has already received over 100 honors and awards including Forty Under 40 for Prince George’s County, MD, TEDx Talk speaker, American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Outstanding Men’s Program, high school Valedictorian and the Kiwanis Club Citizenship Award. Raised in Fort Washington, Maryland, he has served in leadership positions his entire life, from being the manager of the school store in elementary school to the president of the Homelessness Awareness Club in middle school to the president of the National Honor Society in high school.