?Experience is what you receive when you don?t get what you want.” I remembered my father?s words as I tried to postpone the coming massacre. Like during the fall of the Roman Empire, my allies became enemies and my foes turned into partners. In fast and furious action with property changing hands again and again, I rested my fate on the words of one man, hoping he would rescue me from this dangerous tailspin. Don?t these experts realize the heartbreak they?re inflicting on my young life? While the uncertainty of tomorrow?s attire is the most pressing concern for many seventeen-year-olds, I must worry about much greater issues! It?s August 31,the market is down over 300 points and the value of my stock portfolio is falling fast.
Usually, whenever I mention the words stockbroker or investment other students snicker that I?m actually interested in ?that stock market stuff.” My interest in investing began when as a na?ve freshmen I learned that my assistant JV basketball coach Tom Wingfield worked with Dean Witter as a stockbroker. Over the course of the season, I expressed interest in his job, and we became inseparable. Tom became my mentor, and I absorbed every word he spoke. Almost immediately, I became infatuated with the market and wanted to invest every penny I have. To the delight of my fifteen-year old brother, before school I even found myself opening the newspaper directly to the business section, giving my brother first rights to the sports page for the first time in his life.
Hoping to soon enter the market, I worked at a nearby retirement home for several months and earned a little money. To help me buy more stock, my father agreed to match any amount of money I invested. I told Tom about the plan, and he thought it was fantastic. The next day, I had a stock portfolio and dreams of retiring by age 30. Three years have elapsed since that fateful November morning, and every two weeks I religiously place part of my retirement home paycheck into the market.
Every small-time investor probably dreams of making a million dollars; I was no different. I pictured my meager investments taking off and my becoming a professional trader. August 31 quickly jolted me back to reality, and I was reminded of that infamous expression my father told me. No one really plays the market for experience; that?s just what people say after losing money. Nevertheless, even though I?m not a multimillionaire, the experience and knowledge that I gained investing in stocks and following the financial markets is priceless and helped me define my career ambitions. Living in Charlotte has exposed me to the single largest banking merger in history, which made the city one of the world?s major banking centers. The combination of my personal financial involvement, late night conversations with my dad, and observing first hand the sheer magnitude of the banking industry inspires me to turn my current hobby into something much greater! I?ve decided to become an investment banker.