The Great Hope

This is outside of my normal topics but still kinda relevent. Last june we went on vacation with my inlaws. My father is law is a cool guy who worked in the accounting department of Ohio University after his stint in the Army and a brief trip to the FBI as a runner for Agents and a run in with J Edgar Hoover. He retired shortly after my wife and her sisters graduated from OU. Since then he has worked for Valic and is getting ready to start with another retirment/insurance group. All that said he is a pretty smart guy when it comes to money and finances. But back to vacation…on our way home we were talking about investing and I mentioned that I was trying to save up $10,000 to invest. Let me say this is not an easy thing and I am not there yet. If I had been able to pull that money together then this story would be alot more interesting. Anway when he asked me what I wanted to invest in I said I thought playing the stock market would be the best and most interesting return at least in the begining until I figured out what all the investment options are. He followed that question by asking how much I thought I could get in a return on my 10k, to which I informed him I thought I could pull 70% in a year. Lets just say this gave him a good laugh.

So that very day I logged into the hotels wireless and chose 10k in stock picks. They were;

CSCO Cisco Systems, Inc. : 50 Shres @ 19.98
NOVL Novell, Inc. : 50 Shares @ $5.89
MA MasterCard Incorporated : 50 Shares @ $5.82
AMTD TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. : 50 Shares @ $15.36
CIEN Ciena Corporation : 300 Shares @ $4.12
NITE Knight Capital Group Inc. : 125 Shares @ $14.69
MSFT Microsoft Corporation : 50 Shares @ 22.07
ALKS Alkermes, Inc. : 60 Shares @ 18.64
FNSR Finisar Corporation : 100 Shares @ 3.25

I said that I would choose these stocks just like I had invested 10k and then walk away from them for a year. On September 9th of 2007 I found the spreadsheet that I had used to start tracking the stocks. So I fell back on good and created a portfolio called The Great Hope to see how my picks had done. I was stunned to find out that my picks had not only met my 70% expectation but they had exceeded it by 130%! Yep thats right just over a year after my picks had gone from $10,000 in value to over $20,000. Out of the eight picks 3 were loosers. they were Alkermes Inc, Finisar and Nite Capital Group. Finisar seems to have dropped off the map, Nite strangely is static and the funny one is Alkermes. I had interviewed with them for a Network Engineer possition about 2 years ago and though they had a pretty good future. However the interview was a shambles, their technical questioning was a joke and the “highly redundant network” they wanted me to work with was a Single 6500 Chassis. I should have taken a hint from that interview and never put them on my pick list. The real winners from the picks were Mastercard and Ciena. Ciena jumped from $4.12 to $37.29 (797.03% return) and Mastercard jumped from its lowely 45.02 to its current price of $153.37 (239.16% return to date). I have since sold off two of my loosers but I’m holding to Nite hoping that it will at least break even in the future. Also considering the almost 800% increase in Ciena I chose to bail on it and re-invest (my picks) in a small chunk of Apple and an up and comming Enterprise VOIP company by the name of Shoretel.

Post “sell” of those stocks and the subusequent “purchase” of Apple and Shoretel my % return had fallen to around 69%. As of today my return is up to 85.9% with a market value of $28,816.14. From time to time I think I’ll post my picks or find a way to attach my picks or investment (hope to do that before the new baby comes) to the front page of the blog.

So to wrap this up how does this have anything to do with the Enterprise technology. I think alot. To be successful at what we do as IT proffesionals I fee that we need to not only understand our jobs but also the industry and have our fingers on the pulse of that industry to be prepared where it is going to take us and our enviroments. If you can do this aside from being good at what you do you might very well be able to make alot of money just by using your specialised information and some lucky guesses. To put it in perspective:

If last year I had invested $10,000 as outlined above today it would be workth $28,816.14.

If I can duplicate the 200% return on that money in the next 12 months it would be worth about $57,632.

In ten years with a rough 200% return on the past years value you would have roughly $14,753,792.

While that number isn’t what large banks, the market or most governments would consider real money I don’t mind I think I would take that as my retirement at 40. As it is I think I will be about a year down on this plan and of course investing is a risk and is best considered a long term option ranging 20 to 30 years for stable return. But I think it just might be worth reaching out for the The Great Hope.

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