For my STEP experience, I have chosen to invest money in the stock market. Over the course of many months, I have been learning invaluable experience about the way money works through first-hand experiences that wouldn’t have been possible any other way.
I have been learning many things and my view of the world continues to change as I engage in my STEP experience everyday. This is one thing that I particularly like about my STEP experience, it is something that I get to learn from each and everyday. I know because of STEP I will continue to grow as an individual in regards to my understanding of how money works. Because I get to watch the stock market everyday, I gradually begin to understand the cause and effect of events that happen around the globe.
Whether an earthquake takes place in a country where my t-shirts are made, or there’s a strike at a company that I buy electronic devices from, I’m much more observant about what causes fluctuations in stock price. I’m still no expert by any means, but I now understand my assumptions of how the stock market worked were wrong. It is so much more than just supply vs. demand. Just understanding the basics of money and stocks requires an extreme amount of vocabulary that you must know. If I had to say what the biggest change has been for me, it is that I’m much more observant of how the money world around me works.
For my experience, I have to first thank my incredible cohort leader Crystal Dunlevy for encouraging my cohort to pursue whatever it was that we wanted to do. I truly believe without her I wouldn’t have been able to do something so awesome. It was through an inspirational thought that I realized what I wanted to pursue and Crystal was always supportive.
Beyond this, there were many events that led me to the different views I now hold about how money works. After my experience got accepted and I received my money, I immediately began investing in the companies I had been researching for months. A lot of what I have learned has been through research; however, they didn’t truly hit home until I had the opportunity to get real world experience. You will always read about what it’s like to have your portfolio jump 15% in a day only to lose it all the next day, but you never really know what it feels like until it happens. You gain a real sense of respect for the power money can have.
One of the great relationships I had that helped me really become excited about investing was that of a friend I made through STEP. When I initially came up with the idea, Seth was 100% on board with me. He was very much excited about the idea of learning about stocks together and without him I don’t know if I would have gone through with it. It’s always good to have a second opinion and really make sure that your stock picks were on board with what your initial plans were. Seth and I have made a friendship through STEP and a common interest and that’s something I’m very grateful for.
This change has impacted my life in numerous ways and not all of them are even surrounding my STEP experience. I have gained a number of friends, and I even still get coffee with Crystal which is very nice. Beyond this, I know money will always play a role in my life. It’s comforting knowing that I understand that much more about an issue that affects us all everyday. I feel much more secure about my future and my ability to be financially independent. This matters for any number of reasons but among them all, it has changed my future happiness and well being.