How Uber's IPO & Robinhood's Brilliant UI/UX Kickstarted My Investment Journey
Growing up, my dad used to be a full-time trader and I would remember walking past his desk as a kid, looking at the stock market plastered all over his screens. (He's no longer a full-time trader) I never dabbled in it, and never thought I would. I majored in finance for the first 3 years of my college life, and decided to change to operations & analytics instead in my last year after I discovered a deeper interest in it.
I first dived into the world of investing when I was in New York City. Having a social security number meant that I was now, a taxpayer and contributor to the American economy. But it also meant that I could jump onto the bandwagon and start investing using Robinhood.
This also meant taking a chunk of my savings from my intern pay and side jobs, and throwing it into the markets where I had no idea what was happening. The trigger? Uber’s IPO. And also the incredible UI/UX of the Robinhood app which I fell in love with almost instantly.
Beautiful Interface = Beautiful ROI! Take my money!
Typical Rach being sold by beautifully designed things.
Why Uber? They had a great product - a necessity in my opinion. Can you remember the days when you had to stand by the roadside at 3am after a night's out, half tipsy, desperately trying to flag a cab? Maybe exaggerated, but Uber comes in super handy when you're trying to escape the cold in the middle of a winter's night. Let's not forget that their user interface and design is beautiful too... (especially when you compare it to their competitors like Grab or Lyft).
Back to where I was - Yes and no, buying the Uber IPO, NOT the most ideal or smartest way to go about kickstarting my investment journey. While I did make an impulsive (and bad) investment, I quickly learned that I needed to get a better understanding of what I was actually doing before I burnt my whole account away (Not that I had much anyway, but rent is high so every penny counts).
Warren Buffett once said, "Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget rule No.1".
Thanks to my rash decision, I forced myself to learn fast to get myself out of the mess. So over the past two years, I continued expanding my portfolio. Short of picking up technical analysis due to my other work commitments, I read news articles, watched youtube videos, blog posts, and poked my dad for tips every now and then.
About a month ago, I met a group of people who, like myself, were really eager to start investing but did not have the perfect information on how to. It was simply a group chat on telegram called Youth Investors Club, with around 400 members.
Background of Youth Investors Club (aka. YIC):
Caleb, the Founder of YIC, started investing 4 years ago during his life in Polytechnic. Similar to myself, he kickstarted his journey by burning his initial capital and turned to various online courses. He yearned for friends with a similar passion since many people around him were not really interested in the financial markets, but he needed people to talk to. In December 2019, he decided to start YIC - a platform to connect youths in the world of trading and investments, and to create a ripple in the ocean.
It started with one person's intention to create a community to network, connect and share news/articles.
Today, the YIC community has grown to almost a thousand people.
So how did I end up becoming a part of the core committee at the Youth Investors Club?
The core team was made up of 9 people. Gab reached out to me to ask if I was interested in joining them, and being the curious & voracious learner I was, it was honestly hard to say no. They were all hungry to learn, passionate, and most importantly, fun :-) Plus, what better time to join than during my post-college, circuit breaker life, when markets are complete havoc thanks to COVID-19?
Investing always seemed like a daunting thing for me, especially so after the Uber disaster (lol). NUS Invest had interviews on interviews and seemed like a high commitment at that point, considering I was already struggling to cope with everything else on my plate.
My goal isn’t to become a day trader, neither is it to become an expert in the field. But I do enjoy following the markets, reading a lot on certain companies, and understanding the mechanics of why and how the markets work. (Hopefully make a buck while at it).
Being in the core team also means I have to teach (occasionally, but it means I learn even more :> ). People are also asking me more about Investing. While I still direct most technical questions to the team, it’s heartening to know my friends want to learn and do their due diligence before jumping into the market (unlike myself two years ago).
I'm blessed to have met such a group of people, and for anyone who’s interested in trading or investing, check YIC out and join our telegram group here!
There are weekly zoom calls on Sundays at 8pm, with weekly market updates and other investing tips / technical analysis skills being taught by Caleb.
Don't forget - “Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing.”
It's okay to dream big. Investing isn't as difficult as you think - you just have to get the ball rolling, and remember that the biggest investment you can ever make, is in yourself.
Hope to catch you guys around :^)