Let me just be clear and disclose the fact that I have no idea how investing works. I’m just sharing my experience and it’s in no way recommending anybody to do anything that I did. Back in 2008, at the urge of my former boss, I opened a self-manage broker’s account at Scottrade. Back then, I used to never cook and always bought my lunch and dinner and paid minimum for school loans. I didn’t have and shouldn’t have designated whatever money I had as “play” money to throw around, but I did scrape $800.00 and put it into the account. I was too scared to buy anything for the whole $800.00 I had in there, so I started buying cheap single stocks under $5 per share to never total more than $500.00. My definition of research was looking at a graph showing the price history of the last 5 years. I bought and sold a few stocks over the last 5 years and surprisingly, didn’t lose any money.
You want to guess how much I have in there? $1,724.86 is what I have right now. Of course I had to pay taxes on the earnings that’s not reflected in this amount, but compared to what I would’ve made in a savings account, this is really good. Even if I didn’t make as much, it still would’ve befenitted me since I left this money alone during the time of my life when I spent everything in my posession.
But now I’m contemplating whether to leave this money in there and continue to “play” with it or just take it out and pay it toward our student loan. I think it worked so far since I kind of thought of this money as not existing to help me ease the pain in case I lost it. However, since I see that the amount doubled from the initial amount and could really help with the debt pay down, I’m worried about losing this in the future stocks that I end up buying. What do you guys think? Close the account and put the whole thing toward the debt or leave some of it in there or just leave the whole thing alone?
Do you guys have “play” money that you use to dabble in some kind of