I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the summer of 2007. Being a grad student, summer times were relatively free. Or at least no classes. I had just finished my Masters and it was on to Phd now. It was a natural progression of things. All seemed good. All seemed right. I was about to get my first paper published. That had been my goal in life for the last couple of years. Get a paper published. Get my name as first author in a paper in one of the big journals. My shot at "immortality". The academic equivalent of having made it. I like to think of myself as a rather level headed person with my feet firmly on the ground. But looking back, its easy to see that I might have been a tad too bullish on life at that point but that's hindsight for you. But the point is that one of the main goals in my life, perhaps the only one at that point, was close to being met and I wanted to move on and look for new challenges.
I had a labmate who claimed to have invested in AAPL when it was below 10 and I have no reason to doubt him. Now that's an amazing profit (even back in summer of 2007) for anyone. But to me, a grad student living in a studio apartment whose life revolved around happy hours, this was the equivalent of striking oil! I had to get in on this. A quick click on the Mac dashboard and I could see AMZN was really rising. If only I had invested a couple of years ago! This was just so simple. What was so hard about it? I did a lot of my shopping at Amazon, and loved it. Surely picking stock winners was the easiest game in the world. But hey, I was smart. I needed to know more.
So, I switched on CNBC for the first time in my life. And then to Cramer. The guy was fun to watch and supposed to be very successful. People seemed to trust him. He was calling for Dow 14000 at year end if I remember correctly (or was it 16000?). Everybody was just so optimistic. I had to get in. I had to get in right away. Forget about US stocks, I was going to go with China. That was the big growth story.
Looking back, pretty much nothing in my life so far had prepared me for what was to follow. I had failed in life before (can't remember when though!) but never in a manner that I would do in the next six months. When I started it all seemed so simple. Little did I realize then, that I was about to take on the most challenging activity I had ever undertaken. And the thing that I would end up getting most passionate about, more than even my research. It all seemed so simple back then.....
More to follow when I get the time and get in the mood.