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Ka-ching!



April 10, 2008, Thursday

1/1250s | f8 | 27mm | The Three Towers, Canary Wharf.

My first real stock purchase is down 53. But I'm overjoyed. My life has been lacklustre of late but I've a new passion: stock-picking! I've been sort of into shares since I was in secondary school; trading on virtual stock exchange what with real-life equity market being considerably beyond my means.

Since my teenage days, there have been 3 super special stocks in my life. The first one was found while trawling line-by-line through the local papers' share price section, looking for companies with a relatively low P/E ratio (I couldn't find a free stock screener covering the Malaysian equity market). After looking at the fundamentals, Lion Diversified did seem undervalued at RM1.98. The stock eventually rose to RM12.50 in less than 3 years, before the price was readjusted. If sold at the peak, that would have been an almost 100% annualised yield (doubling the capital every year; a Malaysian bank's 12-month fixed deposit has an annual return of a comparatively measly 3.50%). The unfortunate thing is Lion Div was the girl I never did get together with.

I was determined to buy the next "great" stock I found. While doing my internship, I looked up stocks on the Bloomberg terminal after my manager ran out of work for me to do which was quite often (as I am a fast worker haha). Stock #2 was recommended by a stock analyst; after giving it the Peter Lynch treatment, I called Papa and asked him to get some shares for me. The stock had and still has great fundamentals but I made the mistake of buying it when analysts were recommending a strong buy.

I had been stalking Stock #3 for a couple of weeks. The company is pretty much a stalwart, its days of accelerating growth was over but I needed the first real stock I can call my own to be relatively "safe" to invest my hard-earned dough in. Warren Buffett's (how could I not mention the Sage in a stock-related piece?) Berkshire Hathaway has a sizable share in the company which sounds good enough for me.

Market fluctuation might have driven the stock's price down but the whole day had been full of excitement. What's 53, commission and stamp duty (another instance of good money down Her Majesty's Royal C**t) included, to make one realise what he would love to do for the rest of his life?

posted at 11:10 PM