I became an entrepreneur a long time ago. I bought my first paper route at only 11 years old, a $30 a week operation that covered about 300 residents. I immediately thought to myself, “How can I increase revenue on this route?” I decided the answer was to increase sales, so I went door to door in the neighbourhood encouraging subscriptions. Within two weeks my paper route was bringing in $150 a week.
It was a professional operation, a true business. I had to buy the papers from the companies and then sell them at a mark-up. Also, I had to collect the funds every week from my clients – very similar to how a business is run today. This gave me the foundation to provide customers with great service. Rain or snow I would deliver the clients’ papers. It showed me how to deal with business challenges at an early age.
I didn’t stumble across trading eight years later at just 19. I had just opened an account at Citibank and was looking to earn more than the 1% a year. It wasn’t much money, somewhere in the range of $10,000-$15,000. The teller said she could introduce me to the bank’s investment group. After talking to them, I decided to put some of the money in mutual funds and also bought stocks in Coca Cola – my former employer. I wholeheartedly believe in having a stake in your company, so I wanted to be an investor in Coca Cola.
Over a few weeks I watched the value of my portfolio fluctuate, and it was exciting. Coca Cola was trading in a range and I thought, “what if I sell it when it hits the top of the range and when it drops buy it back again.” Before I knew it I was day trading and I didn’t even know what day trading was.