PROUDLY A #BLMSAFEHAVEN | Why FERN THE POET? Over 3 years of daily reflection writing, 4,000 dedicated hours and counting, resulting in three books and a unified mission: To inspire students who struggle academically and students of life who struggle with unconditional self-love to discover who they truly are, unearth their humanity and voice through being vulnerable, and find their nobleness of now: their unique transformational leadership abilities. | You are not here accidentally. Let's Team Up.

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fern, Teach me how to invest in stocks (article)


So I was asked by a mentee to teach him how to invest in stocks.

I was excited to be in this position because I knew that in my younger years I would have loved and appreciated having someone in my life who was financially responsible and knowledgeable.

I was honored to be of any help. I shared first my story of being raised in a poor, spending-first, consumer mindset household and I explained the benefits and the woes of this scenario. (See if you can come up with the potential benefits and the woes in the comment section below.) I then shared how this experience negatively shaped my financial activities for a long time.

Then I told him that I am not a financial advisor and that what I was going to share with him was just my experience with being what I believe to be my most financially responsible self ever. I told him that there is a lot of excitement about investing but also a lot of fears and both are valid.

I shared that investing was about growing financially and taking risk.

Here are a few pointers I shared:

  • The best way that I know to grow financially is to save. 
  • Start thinking about ownership of things that go up in value i.e. a house before a car.
  • Think about how you can grow in value to society. Maybe education or starting something that matters can help. Or investing in yourself in some other way.
  • If you don't have the means for a meaningful investment for the future, try building your credit score or history/start building your credit score or history so that you can put yourself in a position where you can borrow effectively in the future.

Then I said, read The Intelligent InvestorThe Richest Man In Babylon and The Creature from Jekyll Island.


Here's what I learned from those three books:

  • Credit is important.
  • Money is not just cash. Money is credit and iou's.
  • Investing in the stock market is like buying a piece of a company. Do that with a long-term vision. (A 1-5 years time frame is short-term.)
  • Buying a stock of a company is owning a piece of that company.
  • Buy shares of companies that you believe will be around for the next twenty years.
  • Buy shares of companies that have values that align with your own.
  • Economic circumstances can give you access to good company stocks at bargain prices.
  • Don't believe that you will get rich quick. -- Investing via stocks should be seen as a potential way to get higher returns than a savings interest rate. Anything else to me is icing on the cake/Risk of losing my original money.
  • Invest in different companies from different industries. (Tell me why you think that is important to me?)
  • Keep a look out for companies with "disruptive technologies" or "blue ocean strategies".
  • If you don't sell the shares you own in a stock, you don't lose or gain.
  • And take initiative.


Here's what I've learned from trading stocks so far:

  • Arrogance can be disastrous. -- You can lose an opportunity if you think you know it all.
  • The market tests my patience and my negative habitual behaviors.
  • I can take risks but I have to do my homework and keep learning.
  • Because I see everyone buying their products or services because of their high quality delivery, It's okay for me to buy shares of that company.
  • I make and lose money. -- I have to be careful not to let trading become gambling. (Do you know the difference? Please share in the comment section below.)
  • I have to remember those bottom of the screen prints. Example: "INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: NOT FDIC INSURED-NO BANK GUARANTEE-MAY LOSE VALUE". They are true.
  • Sometimes I sit back and watch it go up and buy at the top right before it goes down.
  • I like buying stocks from companies that I use everyday like my credit card company, my bank, and companies whose missions and values I connect with.
  • I make lots of mistakes and sometimes I'm rewarded for making them.
  • I buy for the most part when there's a huge discount price. -- And that doesn't happen often.This usually happens every ten year. It's called a finance cycle or something like that. Research it. (Please post a link of your research in the comment section below.)
  • I need to have reasonable expectations and remember that stocks are just one vehicle in a sea of many others as opportunities to lose/make money ie starting a business, paying for classes, side hustles (independent contractor etc.), buying real estate rentals or monetizing learned talents. Oh, even the practice of consumerism can become an opportunity to make or lose money.

  • I feel my most financially empowered yet.
  • Trading stocks has helped me to plan, better understand frugality, pricing and the value of everyday things.
  • I've learned about taxes and what it means to write off losses from the stock market and how giving to nonprofits can benefit you financially.
  • I've learned about its inherent elitism, classism and even racism. I understand why it has been reserved historically for the upper echelon and why my partaking is important.
  • I feel grateful for what I have.
  • I can be greedy in decision making. And I have an inherent fear of missing out.
  • I've learned a lot about economics, science, physics and many other subjects that did not interest me in school through the process of thoroughly researching companies and new ideas that are intertwined with those subjects. (I've a lot about the science behind various types of electric cars/solar technology/producing clean water from dessert air... etc. etc.)
  • Trading stocks is another valuable item in my personal finance tool bag to help me find more free time and achieve purposeful living.
  • I feel like I have real agency over my financial future and it is no longer based on my employer decisions and outcomes. And actually it is not even based on the stock market.
  • I have a better appreciation for small change (pennies), numbers and math in general.
  • Learning is so much fun when grades are not involved. 


... And so if you are like my mentee, please read those three books for starters and congrats on your desire to become financially responsible. Keep learning. Teach/share what you are learning along the way with someone else.

In advance, thank you for your leadership.

Please share your leadership experience in the comment section below.

Have you read: We are eternal?


"If I push you fall, if I inspire you fly, you are loved as you are, you don't need to try." Book #2