The collection of knowledge, and - more importantly - the generosity to share that knowledge, that exists on this board is truly amazing! The ideas and philosophies on this board have led me to results that would have otherwise been nearly impossible.
As recently as this past November 3rd, my investment accounts had been stuck in a free fall, having been hit hard by several things - but mainly inexperienced and foolish trading, margin, and option usage. These mistakes did not happen all at once, but separately and over a span of a little less than 2 years. I would try one strategy, have some success, get a bit too excited about it, and then end up losing a big chunk. I tried to learn from my mistakes, and would try a different strategy, but in a terrible run of about 1.5 years, ended up seeing my portfolio value cut in half. I was terribly discouraged, but still believed that investing for yourself, if done correctly, would provide the best chance at financial freedom. I am mid-30s with a solid job, but certainly not one that I would like to continue doing until I am 70. My goal to retire by 50 years old had taken a terrible hit, and my chances were quickly approaching non-existent.
At one point, several ‘professionals’ were strongly advising me to give up on investing by myself and either hire an advisor to handle such matters, or invest in mutual funds. I continued to read the ideas of this board, and tried to read and analyze any piece of investment advice I could find. I read bad articles along with the good, to try to see investing from different perspectives and form my own way. I know that I will make many more mistakes, but my goal is to learn from them and become an incrementally better investor with each mistake.
I realize that many of the top stocks followed here have performed incredibly over the last almost year, in a run that will not be easily repeated. But as of yesterday, my portfolio (whose value on November 3rd was almost exactly half the value of its previous highs 1.5 years prior) has gained 301% from 11/3/16 to 9/12/17 - it is quadruple the value, and double of its previous high (from July 2015)! Not in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that a run like this was possible, and this has put me ahead of pace to retire by 50.
I have 5 children (between the ages of 4-11), and have nowhere near enough talent, knowledge, or time to put together all the reports in such a way that the members of this board do. You guys make it so easy for someone like me to research a company without having to crunch all the numbers myself or do all the background work. A majority of the stocks I own are from this board, and a good amount are from the Rule Breakers service. I still try to do my own (rudimentary) research, but benefit immensely from the insight and analysis provided by this board. If I am able to, I plan on trying to do the same for others at a point in my life when I no longer have so many balls in the air needing to be juggled.
I just want to send a big, huge, ginormous thank you to everyone who posts on this board - I couldn’t have done this without your help. You all have handed me the opportunity to provide for my family like I want and retire when I want…just incredible. I have been following this board for a long time, and it will without a doubt continue to be one of my most frequented stops in the future. I promise to be much less of a lurker and more a participant as soon as I can convert my current luck to knowledge.