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The Making of an American Capitalist

During my long car ride to Florida in late January, Gamestop was making headlines. Long story short, hedge funds were out to short sell the struggling video game retailer, which is perfectly legal. Amateur investors, acting in unison, from the Reddit forum WallStreetBets bought up shares to drive the price up, which caused massive losses to short sellers. 

It was interesting timing because I had started reading Buffett, The Making of an American Capitalist by Roger Lowenstein. I was more interested than I normally would have been in Gamestop that day.

On this same long car ride, I downloaded the Robinhood app. I proceeded to make my February “Learning Something New” challenge for Big Ass Calendar Club be the stock market. When I get on a kick about something, I go hard on it. 

For hours, I worked on lists of stocks and talked to John about it. I was eyeing fitness brands I really like, such as Lululemon and Peloton. I made notes that many apparel businesses, other than Lululemon, were pretty affordable, under $50 a share. One thing I picked up from the Buffett book is to invest in something you could understand. That sounds like pretty decent common sense.

Robinhood’s tagline is “investing for everyone,” and everyone can invest any amount and trade in real-time. As a Realtor, I quickly drew the comparison that my investing prowess was like a homeowner attempting to do for-sale-by-owner versus using a Realtor. I was not a pro. Professionals have invested a lot of time and energy into the craft and have earned their knowledge and experience.

Being in sales, I relate to people, so I took to heart the idea of learning about CEOs and decision-makers. That was another Buffett strategy that made sense to me. Invest in people as well as brands.

I am conscious of how I spend money. I love turning anything into a game. But if I go to a casino, I’m content on the penny slots. The same goes for horse races. I’ll bet on every race, but only $2 or under $20 because it makes me pay attention. 

I approach the RobinHood app the same way. I am not out to try to get rich on it, but I play with enough to make me follow the market. There is power in knowing a little bit about everything. When the topic comes up, it is great to be able to participate in the conversation.

My February column addressed dating apps, and since then, Bumble, the dating app in which women initiate the conversation, went public. I bought a few shares of that the day it went public, as well as Pinterest. 

I would love to hear what brands and companies are catching your eye in 2021.

Tesla and Cryptocurrency are all the rage, but did you know Elon Musk’s kid is named X Æ A-Xii?

~ Lacey Howell is a recovering English major from Auburn who lives on Lake Martin, sells real estate, rides horses and loves good wine. Follow her on Instagram @LaceyHowell and on her Facebook page.