By the year 2000 I had invested a total of $4000.00 into my Roth IRA. My Conexant stock value dropped from $2000.00 to hundreds of dollars but I was relieved to see that my portfolio value had returned to its original amount due to the immediate growth of recently purchased P&G stock. I knew that I would not be able to invest for about 1.5 to 2 years because I planned to go back to school in 2001 and would no longer be working full time.
I returned to school in January of 2001. I had a small amount of money in savings that I was living on during my time spent in school. I worked a few hours a week at a local deli and went to school full time so I did not add anything to my Roth IRA in 2001. Fortunately I was not in any debt.
By the summer of 2002 I was 28 years old and would soon graduate. I used most but not all of my savings so I was excited to obtain a new job in July. My bills were low and I did not have any debt so I immediately began saving my earnings. I planned to restart investing as soon as possible.
Even though I believed in investing my knowledge and understanding were limited. My knowledge was limited to one simple task: adding the annual contribution limit to my Roth IRA so it would grow over time and create a large next egg by the time I was 65. Although good advice that I heard repeated over and over and took to heart, I thought that this method, as well as annual 401K contributions, were the only ways to invest.
Over the next couple of years I followed some advice that I believe to have hindered my investment’s growth. For example, I decided to forgo investing in single stocks and instead invest in good growth stock mutual funds. I could personally relate to this advice because of my experience with Conexant. After purchasing another $2000.00 of P&G stock in 2003 I decided to never buy a single stock again. Instead of purchasing single stocks I bought and added to three separate mutual funds from 2002 to 2008. Because of my belief system I bought and forgot about the mutual funds until the next year when I could add the next Roth contribution limit. I never checked the account statements that recorded the passive income I received in the form of distributions and dividends earned. The mutual funds I purchased were Fidelity Freedom 2020, Fidelity Balanced, and Fidelity Canada.
I also started to believe at this point in time that owning a house would give me more return than investing in the stock market. This decision may have been influenced by the soaring housing prices during that time, which, in 2006, was just before the housing bubble burst. Witnessing the minimal growth of my own Roth IRA I decided to continue to only contribute the annual Roth limit, steer clear of purchasing single stocks, and save the rest of my income for a house.