I am a 1-Click Apply Addict

I guess I needed some kind of distraction from the “dip” in the stock market this past week, but I’ve been, um, 1-click applying as I scroll through my email.

It’s too easy! And harmless. I mean out of all the jobs I applied for in the last six months of 2021, 22 actual cover-letter-writing, resume-revamping, research-the-company applications, and COUNTLESS 1-click apply postings, I got four hits – meaning four sets of interviews, some having a few rounds, and one set turning into the not-so-great job offer I wrote about a few months ago.

Two out of four hits were from 1-click apply postings.

After I had decided to hunker down, stay with the job which actually doesn’t pay the bills, and get the MBA, I really did ignore all the emails from Indeed and ZipRecruiter. I did. For a while.

But after the holidays, and after taking the student loan to pay for school that my employer pays for but not the 37.5% federal tax on the value of the tuition, a tax code enacted in 2017, which is more than I can afford…oh lord, that was something I already talked about, too, but after THAT, I thought, what about those remote 1-click apply jobs that maybe I can work weekends or nights on????

Maybe I just want to feel wanted! Job searching is really difficult. So yes, I clicked a few.

I’ve been clicking on 1-click apply postings.

I even clicked on one while hanging out at my present day job to distract myself from losing one third of my newbie investor money.

I had put in $300, and this morning, I was down to $207.82! I think it’s the same feeling people who like watching horror movies get…it’s not a rush, but it’s a horrified fascination I feel as I watch my stocks, including crypto, go down, down, down. And I was tempted to add a hundred dollars to buy crypto low, but 1. I don’t have $100 baby to just throw out with my $300 bathwater, and 2. What if it’s the end for crypto? IDK.

I lost almost $100 on my self-led crash-course investing!

If we go to war with Russia, what will that to the market? What will happen to my ETH and DOGE?

Maybe I should buy a metal detector instead and hit the beach every sunset looking for gold…it might be a better investment.

All I can do is hang on.

Meanwhile, 1-click apply has yielded some emails, which I have yet to answer. I took it one step further, I applied for three positions within my organization, hoping to increase my income.

I got a hit! I had a three-person panel interview within DAYS of applying.

It was for a job much like my present dead-end job, but with an increased workload packed into the same amount of workday (so less inventing my own tasks and projects, which may sound nuts to you, but that’s how I roll – boredom is a silent killer – and it’s better than being told to do dumb stuff).

Not too exciting. Remember, staying within the organization is what is making the MBA possible, even if I did get slightly hoodwinked into taking out a federal unsubsidized student loan.

The interview went well, except for one, well, two, nagging things.

ONE. One of the three interviewers seemed to doubt that there is no career development in the department I am in. I tell you, dear reader, after talking with many people who have also left for another department, left altogether, or stayed for years, this is a dead-end job with a definite salary cap that doesn’t meet the cost of living, and the higher positions are hired from outside.

Well, I really liked this interviewer, but I super nicely and in the most positive way possible, told her that there really isn’t a path out of the job. This is one of the reasons I was willing to take a position in another department for the same pay: for an upward path.


And this is actually the “ONE” nagging thing: the interviewer told me THREE times that I should talk with my supervisor about career development within the building I work in. What nagged me immediately was this…was she telling me this to be HELPFUL, or was it because, subconsciously, she’d already decided I was a “NOPE?” I did relax a bit more, thinking that second thing, because then it just became talk about their interesting department and the good they do. I learned something new. Chatted.

TWO. I could do this job easily, but I don’t really want it. I want to be my own boss, and work on helping others get a leg up in this world and find financial freedom or relief! I’m not even sure if it pays more, I think it does, but I have a lot of freedom in my invisible job and everyone here is quite all right.

I’d rather get my side gig back off the ground, and if I take another job, it should be learning something that will benefit that goal, not more admin assistant chores. I should be hiring my own admin assistant in two years!

Intuition v Whims

In light of me losing 20% of my cash investment in stocks as a newbie investor, I’d like to mention that there is a difference between intuition and whim.

Intuition told me to not put my money in hippie-planet-love stuff like Oatly and Allbirds. Whim told me to be cool and buy stock in a responsible and sustainable company. I tried to make their mission statements fit to my idea of what the ingredients for an upward trajectory would be. Oatly had a cool new ad and was a preferred vendor for Starbucks. Allbirds had cool shoes, and I wanted to see what making an IPO purchase would yield. Not good enough!

Intuition told me to put my money on solid ground with companies like Unilever and AliBaba. Whim said Nintendo, NTDOY, was cool.

Intuition said to not put money into Crypto. HA! I HAD to! You just never know, so crypto on! It’s coooo-elll as heck the way a few words from Elon Musk can send it soaring. Or not.

This is my own self-led crash-course to newbie investing in stocks, and I’m learning for sure.

So, my next lesson is supposed to me just on practice mode buying low and selling high with my micro-holdings in Ethereum and Dogecoin. Problem is, my other fun tickets are stuck waiting for that dang Oatly and Allbirds to improve, as well as my DOGE and ETH. I’ve been obsessively watching this. My apple weekly screentime report is way up, thanks to Robinhood.

Did you know that at the grocery store, Oatly is so much more expensive that the other Oat milk brands, by a dollar or more, that I don’t even buy this product which I own stock in. Oatly, what makes you so fricking hot that you’re a dollar more?

This is my sad story from last week:

My $300 went down to $235!!!! I’m glad I was able to set aside $300, but I’m also glad it wasn’t $300,000.

My OTLY investment went down 51% from 15.75/share to $7.68.

BIRD -8% from $15/share to $13.72.

ZM -20% from $216.01/share to $171.74.

DOGE -35% from $0.20/share to $0.13.

ETH -23% from $3813.90/share to $2942.26.

I could take a class from any one of dozens of investing influencers, at a hefty price, but I just put all the chips I can get my hands on (which I borrowed!!!) on GRAD SCHOOL. MBA starts Jan 31! My self-led investing crash course will continue via Robinhood, because I don’t think ECON and STATS will cover this carnival magic, white-collar betting. Maybe next semester.

I watched in disbelief and kind of a macabre fascination, as my investment money flew out the window with COVID, weather, the Fed talking about raising rates a few times through 2022, everyone’s economic forecast for inflation and maybe even recession. It seems many, many writers wants to be the one who can later say, “I told you doom was coming,” so I actually feel better about the future if I remember that the egos of talking heads demand they have the scoop on worst case scenarios. I understand it would be too boring to write about how it will just get kind of bad but to hang in there! Not blockbuster material, but it’s kind of what we need.

Hang in there!

(Oh wow, as of publishing this, I’m up to $248.)

New Year, New Strategy for this Newbie Investor

It’s official: this newbie investor is an MBA candidate, enrolled in classes, and I have no idea when I’m graduating!

Really. I don’t know. Between the cost of paying the 37.5% federal tax on the tuition AND having a full-time, dead-end, low-paying job, I will see how it goes, then assess how many credits to take this year. Sobering thought; I’m just months away from having three college kids. Obviously, my perpetual state of being under-funded has me racing toward total insanity…by borrowing stacks of gambling chips affectionately known by many as a student loan (just to pay the tax, since it’s a third of my take home pay).

College and grad school will be funded by my wizardry in the stock market. I’m laughing as I type this…on day four of covid quarantine. I’m delirious.

Here’s what I’ve learned. Doing it is the best way to learn. I need to play this selling and buying game on my mini-micro funds level. I’m watching my poorly performing sustainable stocks: Oatly and AllBirds. Oh heck, they are all performing poorly.

Break, it’s time for more cookies. As I write this, I’m in one-bedroom, one-bathroom-by-the-back-door-quarantine, in my own house, since I am the only one in my family who tested positive for COVID with a home test. I really can avoid contact with everyone, except for needing the kitchen, in which case I wear a mask and try to hold my breath for brief fruit or coffee runs. Just now, I put my dinner plate in the bathroom, and it disappeared. I wonder what the state of the rest of the house is? Can’t wait to find out…

They’ve tested. They have re-tested. They are all still negative. They’ve been all over the place: I have not. I’ve tested again but have yet to receive result. I have mild symptoms, thankfully, because I got the damn shots! Hopefully, they stay negative, because they’ve all been hanging out together.

Covid has gotten in the way of one of my strategies to increase income: reviving the party planning side hustle. I had an event this Sunday, and due to Covid, it’s cancelled. The same day the client cancelled, I tested positive. Covid. I know I’m a lucky one, but still…

So, I’ve been keenly watching my stocks on my Robinhood account, which sprinkled cute snowflakes on my screen on New Years Day. Didn’t change the fact that my stocks are not doing well.

Looking at the stocks, it seems like almost everything has hit a tragic illness, too. Somehow, people are making money – how? Since I can’t pay $4000 for one of these magicians’ classes, I have to hunt for clues and crumbs.

I could use my little money to get a feel for selling and buying crypto. The Dogecoin I bought has gone up and down, but not really risen above the price I paid for it. My total return on that DOGE is -16.1%. Ouch.

My Ethereum currently is giving me -0.5%. I’ve lost 51 cents, so it’s killing me less than the others. I think the next time either goes above the price I paid for it, I will sell it. Then I will hope it dives, and I’ll buy it again. IS THIS WHAT I’M SUPPOSED TO DO?? I’ll be sure to report how this goes for me, and again, I’m glad I only have a couple hundred in this, or I’d be crying.

I’m really wondering how long to wait before I get rid of my Oatly. Will it ever rise to the price I paid for it? I’ve lost 49.5% on Oatly.

AllBirds, my first experience buying in on an IPO, is stubbornly hovering at almost exactly what I paid for it: I’ve made 30 cents. What do two very long red candlesticks after a short red one mean???? None overlapping. That’s a steep drop, all’s I know! My newbie investor magic 8 ball says to hold on. Robinhood notes that “Analyst Ratings” say to not sell, but to buy or hold.

Zoom return is -15%, Nintendo -2.23%. Wow, I know NOTHING haha! I only know not to move.

I thought I had a good idea there with the Allbirds and the Oatly (Starbucks’ Oat milk supplier, how could that go wrong, except they are way overpriced at the grocery store)…sustainable stocks and a future super-crop…but maybe that’s not a good gauge. I’ll have to research how to actually make money on anything remotely responsible. I have one stock I’m watching.

Also, and on the same self-led crash-course investing note, I’m still learning about reading Candlestick patterns, whether they still count in this ever speeding up world and market or not, I think understanding them is going to be important to winning at stocks. Tell me I’m wrong, and why, if you like, nice comments only because this is a learning environment.

First, I have to get through this bizarre Covid experience where my family is all living on the other side of the wall, FaceTiming me to watch a movie simultaneously. I’m so truly thankful to be vaccinated and only having the mildest of cases.

On deck for January:

Add at least two events to my side-hustle calendar before the end of January (event date doesn’t count, just date booking confirmed).

Win at the other numbers game I’m new to: auditions. Gonna get one booked.

Post weekly.

Make money with stocks, to end with any amount greater than zero is all I need for January.

Learn about “responsible” stocks and gold.

1-Click Apply Girl’s Moment of Reckoning: Back to School

The stock market is freaking out, and it appears I’m currently down by 10% of my original investment, so instead, here’s a little tale for my 1-Click Apply friends.

My job search has taken an unexpected turn. I’m thinking about going back to school.

FACT PATTERN POINT 1: my dead-end day job enables me to receive tuition remission on grad school for myself, as well as for one of my daughters’ undergrad educations.

After the “Tale of the 1-Click Apply” job offer, and the countless applications (countless because I didn’t always add the 1-Click Apply jobs to my “Applied For” monthly lists), I decided, you know what? SCREW all this pointless job searching to make a little more money so I can live my best life and get closer to opening my own business again and write books…and instead get my MBA!

Should I get my MBA? I had always planned on a graduate degree, an MBA, actually.

FACT PATTERN POINT 2: I had been a business and accounting major at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee with an MBA as the next step. Then I moved to California before finishing my undergrad.

DON’T DO THAT. TELL YOUR KIDS. DON’T EVER DO THAT. Do not move during your undergrad unless it was part of the original plan with consideration for transferring credits.

My major was impacted, and so I chose to switch to English, Creative Writing, because I love it. I figured my undergrad really didn’t matter. I could have fun with my writing BA and still apply for the MBA. Somewhere in that time, I decided my life’s work and destiny was to get an MFA and PhD in English and teach writing. Either way, I was winning, I thought.

By the time I was ready to start grad school, I was a mom of three and in financial distress after opening a restaurant. Seemed like…well, you know…life had taken a turn.

Years later the question hung: should I have gone for the Masters and stayed out of the restaurant?

To get the MBA paid for, there is a catch (called Federal TAX), and I must stay employed with the organization for the duration. In my job search, I had not ruled out staying with this institution, and I’ve applied for several more career-focused positions there, thinking that maybe I should stay for further education.

This post is about one I want to share, in case anyone out there on the hunt for a good job wants to hear about it and say, “I hear ya, girl, job search is insane.” I have nothing really great to say about newbie investing except that I’ve been screaming on the roller coaster ride down, and the drop is tooooo loonnnnggg.

The one I’m actually sharing about…the one that will make your jaw drop with one detail…is Parent Engagement Coordinator. Sounds like Event Planner meets Girl Scout leader, right? Well, that’s me. Former event planner and former troop leader. I can wrangle event staff and vendors just as well as I can soothe parents who want to participate or put in their two cents but not participate.

I had a phone interview. It went well, the job’s typical busy work-week consists of communications, events, etc…BUT ONE MORE THING. Ready?

24/7 PARENT HOTLINE. The person in the position is responsible for listening and responding, as well as scanning social media on any hot-button issues, coordinating with other departments or campus safety for a TWENTY-FOUR HOUR/SEVEN DAYS A WEEK Parent Hotline at a private university where families spend A LOT per year for their kid to study/live/eat/play. I know plenty of parents who would FOR CERTAIN use this tool to gain access to solutions for their college kids. Pressure for perfection. Three weeks before my interview, there was an incident late one evening: the Parent Engagement Coordinator manned the ship a good two hours getting a handle on things. (I would have been asleep, probably.)

Coincidence that a few weeks later they are interviewing for the position?

Want to know what else? The job’s pay is my magic number!!!! It’s my own present salary range!! Like everything else I have interviewed for. What is up with this salary ceiling I keep hitting?? So, I would be doing something in my previous field, working 3 times as hard for the SAME PAY…PLUS a 24/7 PARENT HOTLINE. Hahahaha.

OF COURSE, I enthusiastically accepted the chance for an in-person 3-panel interview, because why? Because I promised myself I would go to ALL interviews. And you never know. I interviewed the heck out of that job with total zeal!

Meanwhile, I decided to apply to grad school for the MBA and made that my last job application.

FACT PATTERN POINT 3: I have three stellar letters of rec for grad school (including one from the former dean of that very business school), my own pretty good letter of intent (since I actually self-identify as “writer”), and my former business owner resume. Looking good?

Reality check.

This is still expensive. Although the tuition remission is a sweet, sweet deal, due to 2017 changes to tax code, I have to pay tax on the value of the tuition. For one recent grad/employee, this was $300 out of each paycheck. $600 per month. Not feasible when I will have three college offspring I should be helping instead. If I spread this out to one class each semester, and finish in 170,000 years, it will be a bit more than $150 out of each check. (Plus, the state’s still garnishing my checks for another two months for that issue previously posted.)

The recent grad I spoke with, who worked full time throughout, admitted to taking on credit card debt to make it work, and she doesn’t even have kids.

Adding debt again, yikes. After closing our business, I spent years paying off steep credit card debt which I had racked up from life’s expenses while not drawing salary the last six months of operating the business…expenses like three kids, doctor copays, groceries, clothes, needed STUFF. The only way the MBA is possible, is if I increase my income, which means finding revenue outside of my low-paying day job.

All this job searching, soul searching, and investment research points me in one direction: return to being my own boss, even if it’s a side hustle for now. Time to strategize.

Someone Said to Watch the Candlesticks?

My burning question is this:

How do I know when to sell and when to buy?

I’m glad I started my newbie investor journey with small amounts of money, because my white-collar bets NOW feel more like purchases my kids made in-app on Club Penguin.

Why? Because NOW I have less money than I started with and just watch little line-graph displays on my phone for entertainment. YIKES.

I believe many investors are experiencing this, with the Crypto heist of $150million this weekend and just basically awful things happening in the world. What to do?

Common sense says to wait until my stocks come back up before selling…but the part of me with no real knowledge or training wonders…well, then if it’s going up, should I keep it? Or will it just go up and down and down? How do I make any money?

Also, boring ol’ common sense tells me that the world is in chaos, and the market maybe isn’t great this week.

And what about crypto? At what point do people who made money on this actually sell it to have money? I’m not talking about the super wealthy who can keep and borrow against it to live lives of luxury…what about the people who are making profits in just the thousands? Or the tens, like me.

Learning about this is actually great for forcing me to look to the future and crash course something new WHILE I’M NOT DOING ANYTHING AT ALL with my stocks and crypto. I’m calmly calling this “holding”.

A term came up during my latest self-start, newbie investor crash course: Candlestick Charts. (Like when one influencer exclaimed, “Watch the candlesticks!”)

I hear this term all the time. What are they? How to read these in a way that help a person determine when to buy, sell, or hold? I don’t know.

I looked it up.

Aaaaaand this term is bonkers.

This is a little beyond newbie investing, but I feel like I should get an idea of what this means.

Basically, and I mean super-on-the-surface, candlestick patterns show price movement for a stock.

There are books about this, entire theories based on dozens of patterns. This is like religion for investors. Deeply. I’m going to try to understand this more as I go, and hopefully it will guide my decisions better than me guessing.

I found a helpful website (that I have no affiliation with, just like it) with simple language on this: https://www.alphaexcapital.com/candlestick-patterns/. Simple language like, “The beauty of candlestick chart patterns is that anyone can use them. They are perfect for all levels of experience…” Also, there is an extensive “Candlestick Cheatsheet” near the end of the post plus a GIF from “The Office” so I’ll be back to alphaexcapital.com for more. Plus, this super-clear illustration:

From another website, investorsunderground.com, I picked up what was for me the most concise surface explanation of candlestick charts,

“The candlestick data summarizes the executed trades during that specific period of time. For example a 5-minute candle represents 5 minutes of trades data. There are four data points in every candlestick: the open, high, low and close. The open is the very first trade for the specific period and the close is the very last trade for the period. The open and close is considered the body of the candle. The high is the highest priced trade and low is the lowest price trade for that period.

The high is represents [sic] by a vertical line extending from the top of the body to the highest price called a shadow, tail or wick. The low of the candle is the lower shadow or tail, represented by a vertical line extending down from the body. If the close is higher than the open, then the body is colored green representing a net price gain. If the open is higher than the close, then the body is colored red as it represents a net price decline.”  (https://www.investorsunderground.com/stock-charts/candlestick-charts/)

Maybe I should just blog about wandering around these investing websites. You know, I could do this all day, every day, and STILL not learn it all. I did find that I could switch my viewing preference on my Robinhood app to candlestick charts instead of a line graph, so that should hasten my ability to recognize patterns.

Investorsunderground.com has a useful “candlestick charting simulator”, free for 14 days, so if it doesn’t require a credit card number, I will try it out and get back to y’all.

My Stocks are Dipping Just Like My Job Search

I may have skipped a post, but I have been writing A LOT.

This process of becoming myself again goes beyond being a newbie investor and learning about stocks. This newbie investor also needs to increase personal income, so more investing, and other life renewing activities, can happen!

INTERVIEWS. Last week I had two in-person job interviews, for which I always do lots of research for and put together notes to get ready for…Honestly, thought, I’m feeling as though I really am meant to go back to being my own boss.

KIDS IN COLLEGE. I helped my daughters apply to colleges, one will be a freshman and one will be transferring out of a community college to a 4-year. (There’s another daughter who is working on her B.S. before med school, but I have a little extra time on that.) That’s two full Saturdays of financial aid websites. Three kids in college; I timed that poorly.

THE BOOK. I re-wrote my query to literary agents, more WRITING. I self-taped auditions for three commercials, no writing but kinda stressful.

AND I APPLIED TO GRAD SCHOOL, and had two interviews. I buried the lead, huh? My present job pays the tuition; I have to pay tax on the value of the tuition (sort of problematic, as it’s still rather expensive). This application process involved writing about myself without exposing my shortcomings…

…Like I didn’t have to share that as a newbie investor, I’ve only seen…hold on…4% gain??? I’ve made $10.05? What happened this week, seriously, because a few days ago I was looking at about 12% gain since I started a few months ago.

It’s time to step back on the learning curve.  

STOCKS. I feel like I’m missing something, like when to buy and sell. What I’ve experienced so far tells me to buy when they are on their way down, not up. And so now get what people are saying.

My Oatly (OTLY)…omg. Wow. That tanked so badly, from the $15.75 I bought for down to $9.45. (I’ve lost $12.60 on my two shares.) Thank goodness I don’t have a lot of money in this yet. I’m still waiting and watching out of curiosity. Like when is this done?

Nintendo (NTDOY). Call me naïve, call me a hopeless kid at heart, but I believe in you, Nintendo! (but I’m not willing to purchase more, since I’m still a newbie with no capital, otherwise…maybe!) My one share I bought at $59.70 is now $55.16.

My Allbirds (BIRD) IPO experiment is interesting. I’ve gained 9.24%. I still am under the impression that I cannot sell within the first 30 days, or I’ll be blackballed out of IPO-Land.

As far as my Ethereum and Dogecoin are concerned, there have been ups and downs with various news breaks. And oh yeah,

This is how much I DON’T know, and how Fear Of Missing Out could have hurt me. I fretted about missing the boat on Rivian. I missed out, not because it didn’t cross my mind, but because I didn’t want to allocate more money. Remember? I owe the IRS $12K. Oh yeah, and the state wants theirs, too…my first experience with check garnishing! (But that’s a boring story about the organization who employs me making a data entry error and not withholding tax for most of the year, after I requested to withhold more, and then I noticed their error and alerted them, but damage had been done! Didn’t even get a “sorry!”)

Moving on.

MY NEXT SELF-LED CRASH COURSE: I feel like I need to make the next few days about researching candlesticks and waterfalls, because I’d like to learn more about knowing when to sell and when to buy. It’s a little scary putting even small amounts of money in when there are bills to pay and kids to help. I view this money like it’s still there, after all, I didn’t spend it.

Wouldn’t it be nice to not crash-course as I go? The MBA program would help me learn more, but that’s not the reason I applied.

You might infer that I’ve decided staying with the present dead-end job and getting an MBA is now preferable to the job search.  This is correct. I seem to have hit some kind of salary ceiling for people like me…a $45K to $49K ceiling. This is the salary range for much of what I’ve applied for. It’s far from satisfactory. I still have another in-person job interview slated, however, because I made that promise that I’d go to ALL interviews I was invited to.

I’m applying to the MBA program because it’s actually what I had originally planned to do decades ago when I was first an undergrad. I had locked myself out with the combination of my choices: working with spouse, having kids, not going to grad school back then, staying in this job for too long. Being broke begets being broke, and it’s hard to break the cycle. My youngest kid refuses to accept anything less than considering herself rich…she says it’s a mindset, and she’s already there. I don’t know how that will play out, but ok, go girl.

Starting over might mean breaking the cycle AND staying where I am if I want the MBA. Sounds like a net gain of zero at first! Like my white-collar gambling experiment, this alone will not show rapid, miraculous gains. This is a rare opportunity, and I would have to continue working for this organization, which in itself will not increase my income NOW, but what’s two years?? I have to look outside the day job for the rapid, miraculous gains.


Well, well, well…this crash-course to investing self-edification journey keeps throwing new things at me. 

Last week, I received a super interesting notification from Robinhood about an upcoming IPO. In case you don’t think that’s interesting, let me remind you that this blog is by a newbie investor for others like me. I know what an IPO is, but I have NO IDEA how participating in an IPO actually works! Like, how do you know what to do, when, how much?

What I know: an IPO is the initial time a private company sells stock to the public. This is done to raise funds, right? Maybe for expansion, maybe it’s for founders and private investors to get rich. That is literally ALL I KNEW. I also knew an IPO can be a really good opportunity to get in on a chance to buy stock that COULD increase in value substantially. (Again, I say “could,” because this is, after all, white-collar gambling.)

I knew the brand: Allbirds. They make sustainable, recycle-y shoes that are cute and hip. (They make other things, too, which I did NOT know until I researched them.)

My knowledge base was tremendously lacking, but I wanted to know more. I’d never looked deeply into it before, because it had never applied to me and my debt-ridden life. 

I’m on a learning trajectory now.

The intriguing message in my Robinhood messages (which I don’t even read, haha, because I still think like a broke person who ignores ads and “special offers”):

Allbirds, Inc. (BIRD) plans to go public. 

Oh wowwww, I even knew who they were. Is sustainable investing…um, sustainable?? Would this be something that would increase in value? Could I hit it on this? Yikes, kinda exciting. 

Learning more wouldn’t hurt. In the interest of time (I’ve been time-challenged this week), I only went to Investopedia.com https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/ipo.asp

In a nutshell way too small to properly convey the vast content available on IPOs, I will say just this: When a company wants to go public, they work with underwriters to do all the hairy, nitty-gritty, legalese work to properly prepare documents, offering price, amount of shares, filing, issuance, and much more. After the shares are issued, the funds received is recorded as shareholders’ equity on the company’s balance sheet. Underwriters usually set the price of the IPO according to “net present value of the company’s expected future cash flows” (betting!?!). Investors look at the company’s prospectus for better insight on the bet.

The new term I learned here was “Lock-Up.” I think this is important, and if you are interested in this topic, dear reader, start with the link above. During an IPO, underwriters make company insiders sign a “Lock-Up” agreement, which locks them in to keeping the stock for a specified length of time. When that time, maybe 3 months or even much longer, is up, many of the insiders try to sell at once to cash in. This drives the stock price way down.

So, my question is, when should I sell? 

I queued in to take part in this, agreeing to a max of $16 per share. On the day of the IPO, I was part of the group who was able to partake (and this presented questions, like, really? Not everyone gets to purchase?), and I was automatically in for 3 shares @ $15.

The risk: $45. I’m insane in the membrane, yes. I know that in the past, even this amount of money was simply not possible to allocate to this. It’s not food, it’s not kids’ clothes, and sometimes not spending $20 made the difference between a bill getting paid or not. I’m thankful to be in a better position.

I checked my Robinhood account later that day. DANG! The value DOUBLED! I was astounded! This was so exciting. I had never personally been part of any action like this! Over 100% increase in value; are all IPO’s like this? I wondered what the catch was.

It started to decline, not a shock, but I did wonder how low it could tumble. Like, could I lose all of the money I put in? (It is, after all, a bet.) I held tight, mainly because I’m curious. As long as I don’t lose more than what I put it, it’s all part of the self-education price tag, which will hopefully prepare me for bigger bets with bigger returns.

I found this info from The Motley Fool’s website on why BIRDS declined, which was helpful in understanding the whole IPO concept, basically the price fluctuations were just the market determining how much these shares should be worth, and it might not be done. https://www.fool.com/investing/2021/11/04/why-allbirds-stock-fell-152-on-thursday/

Currently, my 3 shares of Allbirds (BIRDS) IPO adventure has experienced a net gain of 74.0%!!!! That’s $33.30 I made on $45. Gosh, what if I had lots of money to bet…would I, though? Haha. That’s the thing, when does my brain believe this is possible with more money, after being so careful and sometimes without enough money? I’m still down a wedding and engagement ring, after selling them to pay basic utility bills a few years ago. (I don’t want them back, btw.)

All of my little newbie investing combined has shown a gain of 17.6% since I began at the end of September. I feel like I’m stuck in a pattern of adding $50 at a time to my Robinhood account, but I have yet to sell or take money out. (I won’t be taking money out.) When do I sell? I have a fear of missing out…FOMO!!!!!…like, what if I get rid of something, and then it goes up in value. 

I think if the OATLY comes above or at what I paid for it, I will sell. (or if it goes below $13/share again.) 

About my Nintendo baby!! I’ve been hoping for the best, and I think it will bounce back and improve by Christmas!!!! I know, I’m down 7.29%, or $4.35, but it’s on the upswing!! I just know it.

I feel like I’m supposed to sell my BIRDS, since it’s an IPO and I don’t know much about the fluctuations of a sustainable shoe company IPO. I mean, I’m not supposed to just be slipping $50 into this adventure all the time, am I? And then what? I know this is small scale, so I’m going to switch up my mental energy and pretend there are two zeros behind everything and act accordingly. TBD.

The Tale of “1-click Apply”

Learning about newbie investing isn’t the only thing I’ve been crash-coursing myself on.

I just crash-coursed an entire career!

It’s ok; it was the result of a hit on a “1-click apply” job listing, so all’s fair.

I have a running list of jobs I’ve applied for ever since we closed our restaurants*: a series of word docs titled by month/year, for several years. That’s a LOT of cover letter rewrites. But, you know those “1-click apply” jobs? The ones that maybe wouldn’t be top of the list, but hey, “1-click” is like eating one gummy bear after another, you lose track.

To my surprise, I got an in-person interview off one of those “1-click applies.” I almost didn’t go; it paid less. The pros: maybe I could talk up the salary, and it was only 5 minutes from home! The cons: less pay, college grad type communications assistant position, and…had I actually applied for that? (l’d lost track of my “1-click apply” binge.)

I went. You see, prior to this, I had made a rule for myself: go on any interview I get. Either for the practice or the “you never know factor.”

In the small, 2-storey end unit of a tidy, industrial-area strip-building, was their office space, above a glass-walled conference room and very small showroom. It was just one guy and his one employee, whose claim to importance was that he was hired to photoshop various backgrounds behind the product. (That’s all I got.) 

The interview was going well, when suddenly it cranked up a steep-sloping, winding roller coaster track to the sky. “Can I show you something?” he asked.

I was then included in a VIP showing of his most precious product, something very new, very expensive, and very realistically attractive to a certain set of high-income consumers. I can’t say what, but in reality, everyone has these items, I doubt you can find a home built in the US without them; it’s not a toilet. The adjoining warehouse was stacked with inventory. The product was quite beautiful in design, truly.

Back in the quiet conference room, he said that he thought I’d be better in a different position. He offered me Director of…well he didn’t specify, but the work Marketing was sprinkled in the conversation. I kind of wanted to look behind me to see who he was talking to. Who, me? I couldn’t resist glancing at my 2015 Prius outside. Did he not see me arrive in that?

As I drove the five minutes home, which was more like eight due to 5pm traffic, I imagined he was going to come to his senses and retract his vague offer. I also felt that with my background, I could do the job. I can write, I can build a team, I can operate, and I thrive in on-the-fly situations.

I emailed him to say I was interested, and basically asking him to clarify. He wanted to talk again by phone that Friday.

I had three days to crash-course my way to Director of Marketing. I had access to academic databases, I had google and duckduckgo.com on my side. I read, I printed, I threw myself into hypothetical situations. I thought deeply on how I would get started, like, what would I actually put on my to-do list and how would I maintain credibility with a potential team?

“Waterfall” v “agile” strategy? Marketing Plan? Got it. Grad school be damned (although, that’s what I’ve wanted to do for years)! I wrote a 3-page presentation on what I would do and memorized it.

I also realized that this knowledge was what an MBA education would provide; however, if I got this title and succeeded, would I even need one?

Our phone call went well. Red Flag Alert: He made the offer of a different title: Director of Communications, because he had just hired a recent college grad to be Director of Marketing. (Yes, there were many red flags, so don’t @ me.) I was fine with that, as I figured a recent college grad would move on soon, and also, I could crash-course some knowledge from them. I also asked about his previous marketing plan, but he didn’t know what a marketing plan was. (Red Flag? IDK) I told him what creating a marketing plan could do for him, and what we could do to increase his profile among retailers and professionals. (FREE LABOR!)

Next, I would have to complete several batteries of very invasive, personal data-mining, “don’t-answer-what-you-feel-but-what-you-know-the-best-response-is” on-line assessments from a company that uses a primate as its namesake. This included the infamously biased 16-point personality test. Completely bogus. Before taking these tests, I crash-coursed what the head of Communications would do, of course!

To my chagrin, I was given Project Manager position assessments. I did NOT CRASH-COURSE that! Didn’t see that coming. (At least I know what my next crash course will be.) But why? Why did he pick that? I feel he probably let the assessment provider choose the tests. Red Flag. At least I aced the ol’ Excel test.

So technically, I was the Director of something I could actually do. This was unbelievable. Then came the offer: $42K per year, 5 days of vacay, 0 sick days, and a draconian cell phone policy that came right off someone else’s website from 2001 – as in no personal devices, and all family emergencies would get filtered through the owner. What am I…15 years old?

$42K. Friends, not only is that less that what I make, that wouldn’t even pay for an Orange County resident’s mortgage and car insurance. Wait, that’s before taxes! Even worse. (Heh, heh, that reminds me – Did I ever mention I owe the IRS $12K?)

I sat on this for several days and chatted with an HR friend, a few older professionals, friends. 

I made a counter-offer. I mentioned that the average salary in the OC for that position is $96K, and I’d take it for $65. I asked about increasing vacay ( I currently get 10 days plus 10 sick days). I respectfully declined to agree to the personal devices policy. I did a weird thing, since I thought this was going nowhwere anyway, I proposed Option 2, in which I work remotely for him concurrent with my other job for three months, at which time we reassess, but I cannot accept a position for less than what I make. I threw in there that my current job will allow me tuition remission for my kid who is applying there.

Ten days later, he actually responded! I wasn’t expecting to hear from him again, and I’d already decided that the job searching is so frustrating. Getting me nowhere. I had begun to talk with admissions counselors about an MBA program. In that ten-day space, I had gone from, “Should I take this job with a dozen red flags just for the TITLE?” to “F*&K this all, I should work on growing my side business, hunker down with this job for a minute and get my MBA.”

His counter-counter-offer was $55K. That’s it. He didn’t address anything else.

I told him I needed a few days.

Here’s what helped me.

I attended a class in an MBA program as a guest, and the golden prize from the professor which I took home was this: “If it’s not in the offer letter, you’re going to find it impossible to try to add later.” 

A trusted professor/lawyer/friend had this to say about the job-offer guy who mysteriously let his business lay fallow for several YEARS, “We know it won’t be his fault when success isn’t immediate, I wonder who he will blame?

A reliable friend who works in HR and has a Masters in that field: “…Trust your gut on this one. There are plenty of other companies out there.” And in response the guy’s behavior (this post only scratches the surface), “I get the sense he will be demanding and encroach on your time…You may have to set boundaries with this guy!

Now. I’ve sort of ghosted him, not on purpose. I did let him know my choices were working for him or getting an MBA. (I haven’t even figured out how to pay my portion of that yet, haha.) I have not gotten back to him since.

What would y’all do? Take the crummy job offer with a great title to leverage into a future great job? Or not, because of so many other red flags, and work on an MBA?

But I’m still at square one. I need to increase my income. For obvious “must-do-better” reasons to extremely personal and desperate reasons, I have to improve my life.


*A little boring backstory: I made a choice between going for my Master’s degree and opening up a restaurant many, many years ago. Partnered in four restaurants, co-operated one of them for 14 years. It was the last one of the four to close. Aside from seeking a job as a restaurant manager (Not doing that, unless it’s my own place), I’m left with few translatable skills. Lots of soft skills. Lots.

The “Short” of It

Sitting Tight; isn’t that what Newbie investors are encouraged to do?

Admittedly, I barely know the basics beyond that advice, but I am slowly piecing it together.

I’ve been DIY-crash-coursing on investing and crypto. Read some opinions on whether gold or crypto are better…BORING. Who knows? It’s a gamble.

When I say I am piecing it together, I mean I’m really stumbling across puzzle pieces of info and trying to find how they fit to create a big picture. One little puzzle piece had me furrowing my brow.

I wanted to understand the idea “short it.” Again, these concepts are fuzzy to me. Like an Impressionist painting or trying to see without my contact lenses: my vision of how this term plays out in real life is limited to the lense I can apply.

I found out what it means after reading posts on no fewer than five different websites.

Get this, and by the way…what kind of huevos does it take to think this works? And it does work. A person – who already has money to play with at this particular “gaming table” – borrows stock from a broker willing to lend it (and this isn’t even the owner of the stock). They borrow the securities or stock which they are sure will go down in value, and then they actually sell it. The bet is that the stock value will fall super low, in which case, they buy it back, at the super low price. Then return it, like no big deal (!), at the price they originally “borrowed” it at. This is how I understand it, anyway.

These risktakers make the money on the difference, as long as there IS one! Or it doesn’t go up in value, or, or, or…or only things people who have lived through despair and broke-ness, like me, worry about. These folks are fearless gamblers, and God Bless ‘Em, it pays off. Most of the time. I think.

Are you kidding me? How do mere mortals like me get into this “short” club? IDK. I wanted to learn. IMHO, the most helpful site for me was Bullishbears.com. I dug in, and now I understand that I am not ready for this. My level of personal risk is…well, I don’t have enough fun tickets for this ride. Maybe I can get there, we shall see, but for now, I’m entertaining myself with the crypto roller coaster. Going mainly down, oops.

Apparently, I got in a few days after the 50% spike, OF COURSE I missed it, but that was covered in my last post. So, I watched it come back. And I watched it go down.  And I was set on getting rid of my OATLY because it’s just sitting there. I was hoping it would come back up to what I paid for it, but it’s not looking that way. I just CANNOT have my first sale be at a loss, PLEASE! Luckily, we’re not talking about very much money, so I’m just going to hang on.

However, the Nintendo…Wow. Can it go down more? Will Christmas save Nintendo?? I thought BTS would save Nintendo last week, and if those pop star demi-gods can’t save them, I’m not sure Santa Claus can either. I can see the infamous queue of container ships from one of my beach walks spots…any way I can give them a hand? Which one has the Nintendo stuff?

If only the Nintendo stock weren’t mine, because then I could have shorted it! Hahahahah.

Really though, my tip for us newbies is check out Bullishbears.com. They don’t know me; I don’t know them. This is just me saying check it out for your self-edification journey.

I’m working on another post about “Self-Edification.” You see, I’ve been job hunting. My day job was kind of a band-aid to stop the financial bleeding after closing a business of 14 years, and I have not yet been able to get back to where I was before.

Stay tuned.

More from the Beginner White-Collar Gambler

I’m a failed investor!

Over the past month, I watched my little investment experiment go – oh wait, I forgot to mention that I went back into my Robinhood account and bought some Doge Coin right after my last post. Why did I pick that? I’d read several articles about wind energy being used to mine it, and I was like wow, that’s cool, without much further research or thought about how little of it’s being mined responsibly. I jumped in to use up the rest of my $100. I purchased 40.2 shares @20.6 cents.

Ya, so I watched my little experiment gain about $5 and then swing the other way so I was down about $3 for most of the month.

I decided to hang on because of the supply chain issues, and China trying to murder crypto, maybe so they can start their own, and…basically reading the up and down news. I’m too busy hanging on to daily life to do adequate research! Practically speaking, Nintendo just HAS to come back (and maybe BTS partnering on something for the Switch will help)! (I’m down like $2.50-ish.) The Oatly, I just don’t know; it seemed like a good idea at the time, but that, too, is hanging around $2.60 loss for me. (I’m reassessing that one.)

Then today. Today! I was just looking at proof of how much fun my youngest daughter’s Senior night at the high school football game was…the happy pics, the performance videos, the Instagram stories. She’s captain on the dance team, and it was her (and everyone’s) last home game of the year, and I had yet to make a post. Suddenly, I was thrust down a rabbit hole called “Anna Macko’s 2% Theory.” It’s kind of fuzzy to me, but basically, it’s her plan for teaching crypto investing with her classes, which come with perks like signals on what’s hot, how to read the market for better decisions, and what the hell to do. Really, I don’t know. I do know that I cannot afford her classes. I’ve wrapped my head around the 2% theory, but I mean, if I’m investing $100, how can I pay $1500 for a class? (Or more.)

I learned that I am in a constant state of missing out, and I, and most others, will NEVER NOT be missing out, so I have to do the best I can.

That meant buy Ethereum. I could just as easily tell you all that I had a dream, or God told me to, or I spun my phone and pointed to it. I decided to go completely nuts, take the other $100 from my savings, and place MY BET, my white-collar bet, on Ethereum. All the chips. And I was like, wow, I’m really into this Crypto stuff.

In the next ten minutes, mind you, it’s a Sunday, I lost $1. Oops, but no big deal. Then it was $2.17, then $3.54! In less than two hours, I’d lost 3.55%. I frantically scoured the news, like, what happened?

Who loses 3.55% in the first two hours of investing? I guess if I go back to calling it a bet, quite a few people do! Haha.

Oh my God, I’m up 22 cents on that now. Wow, what a ride. A little humor, there. I have some questions on that 2% stuff, but for now, I guess I’ll go back to making that Instagram post for my senior.