How I Turned My Loose Change into $52 – A 20% Gain!
It Started with a Bucket Full of Coins
Just like everyone else out there, at the end of the day or week, I would find some leftover change clanking around in my pocket that I would dump into a piggy bank. For me, I had an old school coffee can that worked perfectly fine.
Over time, that coffee can got heavier and heavier and was beginning to become a burden pulling it off the shelf every week to add more ‘weight’ to it.
That’s when I started to think about it.
Yes, it was mentally great to know that I have a can full of money (who knows the exact amount) sitting there for emergency purposes, but what was I really getting out of it? It was just sitting there collecting dust and nothing else. The money in there wasn’t really adding to my overall objective of getting debt free and then growing my money after that.
Then a quote my dad always said came to mind:
“Don’t work for your money; make your money work for you.”
It was time to take that piggy bank and turn it into a bacon generating hog.
Robinhood to the Rescue
I’ve been reading into this new platform (catered to millennials) for investing into the stock market called Robinhood. It's an app used to invest in the stock market. It’s similar to all the other stock brokerage companies out there in terms of allowing you to buy & sell stocks, but it has some very competitive advantages that the others don’t have.
- No brokerage fees -
- Simple setup -
- Mobile App only -
- Simple to use -
I was hesitant in signing up, simply because of the fact that I already had multiple different accounts setup with different brokerage companies and I wasn't sure about all the ins and out of it as it was still relatively new. Anyways, why would I need to add another brokerage account to the few I already had?
The reason why I downloaded the app and got setup was simple. The fact that you can trade stocks without paying a fee everytime was HUGE!!! Knowing this, I found a way to turn my bucket full of change into something a lot more. I was able to turn it into a working machine – one that could grow exponentially without all the dust.
Here’s How I Did It
First I downloaded the app and completed all of the registration. This is mandatory no matter who you go through, so don’t be afraid of all of the detailed information that you will have to supply. It is required through the SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) to prevent the “Wolf of Wall Street” stuff from happening.
That’s step 1.
After I was setup and connected one of my bank accounts to my Robinhood app, it was time to fund it with money. That’s when I took that brick of a coffee can to my bank and made a deposit.
Cha Ching! $43.75 was deposited in.
After my change was deposited, I went into the Robinhood app and created a funds transfer for that exact amount (this way I can see exactly how much my chump change would grow compared to sitting on the shelf).
Step 2 done.
Next, and most important, I found a bunch of low cost stocks (under $5) within the app and did some research. I looked thoroughly through the companies and found some I thought had potential (need help finding good stocks? Read this post). The reason why I chose low value stocks was simply for the fact of being able to buy/sell a portion of shares and diversify, rather than buy one stock that costs $40 and have little to no wiggle room.
After I researched some solid stocks, I put in a bid to buy a few shares. This part is pretty simple. I went in and selected the stock, clicked buy, went to the ‘order type’ and chose 'Limit'. This means that my order will sit there, at the price I want it at, and will not do anything until the market price matches it. Once that happens, BOOM! you own some shares in a company. Not too difficult, is it?
Step 3 complete.
Now, for the last and final step. After I allocated my original $43.75 into a few different stocks, I waited and watched the notifications on my phone pop up every day. Each notification said things like, “Stock X is up 5.65%, or Stock Y is down -3%”. Once I saw my stocks rise up and read online why they were going up, I made the decision to sell it or not. For the most part, I did sell them. I went in, and just like buying a stock, I set the price of what I wanted to sell it at and let the phone do the rest. Once it hit that price, it sold. Hello ROI (return on investment).
Boom shaka-laka step 4.
The fact that Robinhood doesn’t charge commission on 'buys and sells', it is the perfect platform to do this. Usually, brokerage companies will charge you $4.95 or more every time you buy or sell. That’s how they make money. Robinhood generates profit simply from interest on the money they hold between every buy/sell and it doesn’t effect it’s customers/investors (me and you). I would check out their website to learn more on how to they do it – I just wanted to give you a quick understanding.
So now that I can trade without paying commission every time I set a buy and a sell, I am setting it at profitable prices.
Buy low, sell high.
I have been doing this every week or every other week, always continuing to grow my ‘chump change’.
So far, after 5 weeks, I am up 20% and my bucket is worth over $50 now. Not too shabby compared to it sitting on the shelf. The only thing that I have to consider now is reporting my gains/losses to the IRS come tax season, but I have already built a tracker that keeps all that organized for me.
If I keep the success rate that I have, who knows what my $40 could turn into - $60, $200, $8,000? It’s only a matter of time and a few trades to truly know.
Give it a shot and try it out....It's better than having your money collect dust.
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