A wave of anxiety hit me when I took a look at the stock market this afternoon (I know it's a Saturday and that the exchanges are closed, but I don't check the stock market that often. Please don't make fun of me). The stock for EasyFill - a company from my hometown that makes revolutionary shelves for refrigerators - had gone up to over 15 crowns per share. I have had good feelings about this company for quite a while now, and a few months back I was on the verge of investing a non-substantial-but-still-not-insignificant-to-me amount of money in them. Back then the price for a share was about 3 crowns. You can probably do the math yourselves, but an increase from 3 to 15 is an increase of 500 %. I felt sorrow over the potential income that I had missed out on, since any extra money that I can scrape together to mitigate the impending doom of my ever-increasing student loans is more than welcome. But the money I could have made was not the hardest part to cope with. I still have more than enough to get by, so that's not an issue. What made this a hard hit was that it is not the first time something like this has happened to me.
Fast-rewind to the beginning of 2013. There had been talk of a new currency that would completely change the way we think of money in the future. The name of this currency was of course Bitcoin, and this was just before it was about to take off from just a few dollars a coin to over a hundred, and a few months later to over a thousand. I remember reading about Bitcoin back then, and being amazed about the technology behind it. Just as with EasyFill I was thinking of investing, but I didn't follow through at that time.
Earlier this year it happened again, this time with another crypto currency, namely Ether. Ether, for those of you who don't know, is the crypto currency that powers the blockchain based, decentralized platform Ethereum. I found this platform about a year ago, and was really intrigued. Running applications on the blockchain without any dedicated servers? No central database that stores all the information? No third party that has total control? Amazing. My intuiting told me that this was the future, and that it would only get bigger and bigger as time went by. The prize for Ether at this point was about 0.005 Bitcoin. Now? Around 0.03. A 600 % increase.
Had I trusted my intuition in these three cases I would now have been a rich man (given that I wouldn't have lost all the money in other investments due to hubris, which, when thinking about it, actually doesn't sound that implausible). In the case of Bitcoin I actually did invest, but at a far later stage. When the price of Bitcoin was rising with more than $100 per day, I asked myself: "What would be worst? You investing and loosing all your money, or you not investing, missing out on a lot of income, and probably regretting it for the rest of your life?". The answer was simple: I had to invest. This happened to be right before the price plummeted down with about 50 %, so I ended up losing about half my invested money. This was not something that bothered me that much though. When I invested I was in a mindset where I was ready to lose it all if things turned out badly, so when the price dropped I just went on with my life without any hard feelings.
My point here is that I should trust my intuition more. It is more gruesome to not give something a try and potentially regretting it for the rest of your life, than to take the plunge only to find out that the pond wasn't as deep as you had anticipated. In the future I will keep this in mind, and try to not be as afraid of failing. The best way of learning is by making mistakes, and if you never take chances, when are you ever going to get a chance of making a mistake? I want to end this with an inspiring quote from Wayne Gretsky:
You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.
That man surely knew what he was talking about.
On another note, school is just out for summer, and I will hopefully be able to allocate some more time to writing during the following months. You can expect some more posts in the near future!