Taking Risks & Making Mistakes

Exploring Career Options

I recently made a big career change. I left engineering in New York to try real estate in southeast Florida. Most young adults take years if not a lifetime to find their calling and I am still working to find what makes me happy and what I want to do forever. The way I see it is I am passionate about three things – engineering, the stock market, and real estate. All three will be a part of my life forever, just how much and when is what I need to figure out. Going to Florida checked off the last of my three passions for me. Mentally I wanted to explore each passion and see what fit me the best. I also wanted to experience living outside of New York. Fortunately, I now realize that engineering and New York are my home, and trying to have a career in real estate or the stock market is a waste of time, it’s better to keep them as side hustles.

As a young adult, I knew taking a move like this was risky but I had nothing to lose and only experience to gain. Although the location, industry, and position were not exciting and I reached a dead end, the process and life experiences gained are priceless. I have come out of this experience with more knowledge about myself than I knew was possible. The path for my future has become clearer and I feel more confident in what I need to do to get to where I want to be.

Personal Investment Mistakes

As I stated previously the stock market and understanding of the economy are important to me. I bought my first stock on May 23rd, 2017. That puts me at just over five years of investing in the stock market. Since then we have had the correction of 2018, the pandemic from Covid-19, one presidential election, the explosion of crypto and SPACs, the war between Russia and Ukraine, and many weird market trends. I have tried long and short-term trading. Learned about options trading and used chart paths, RSI, moving averages, and boiler bands to predict the market. I even completed an internship as an accountant for an investment bank.

The number one and most important mistake I made was thinking I knew where the market was going. Especially during the pandemic when I sold all my positions at the worst time possible and wrote this post – The Dead Cat Bounce. I had the right information in front of me but I was naive and easily swayed by others’ opinions. I learned how valuable it is to see both sides and ultimately determine what information is correct and what is fluff or clickbait. With social media and the profound effect of the news, it is so hard to get clear information. Being able to sift out the nonsense and find the root cause of the market success or turmoil is what I learned through my years of investing. I will never master this skill as even the greatest investors still struggle with it, but it puts me one step closer to my goal of becoming a successful investor.

Another costly mistake I made recently was being over-leveraged in a high-risk position. Having 90% of your portfolio invested in one stock is not a good idea. Mix that with the ego of thinking you know more than the 30-year seasoned veteran you work with and you have a disaster on your hands. This experience provided perspective for weighing the risk/reward of your decisions. Also, experienced personnel within the industry has priceless information, building and having a great relationship with them will go a long way. As veterans in an industry are more than happy to pass their knowledge to the next generation.

All in all, I reflect on my past with a smile and zero regrets. I take risks and challenge myself to grow. I always reflect on my experience and having the ability to share them with my family makes me stronger. It is great to get outside perspectives and be questioned to force additional contemplation. A quote that feels fitting is the one shown below. Whether it’s the success you pictured or the hard lessons of failure, you will always walk away with something.

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