Ubuntu, Gwibber, Twitter, Stocktwits, Zecco and Investing
Redhat $RHT and Linux
In 1999 Redhat became an IPO. I had begun using Linux by reading books with distribution CDs at about this same time. When Redhat $RHT became an IPO millionaires were made. At it's hight December 1999 RHT was near $137 a share. At it's lowest September 14, 2001 RHT fetched $3.14 a share. I didn't know much about stocks, but I knew Redhat was good. Why? Because it was a market for Linux. Redhat was an customer based software educator business.
Redhat was training businesses to fend for themselves in software. Software that allowed you to do anything. You did not need to have a proprietary license. You just needed to have trained people (which you had to have anyway). The remarkable thing was that what was under the hood was a fully and actively developed technology that your people could adapt without legal recourse. It was Open Source.
So Redhat's stock was devalued. Big deal. Redhat kept moving with Linux. Linux is everywhere. Your Android phone is a Linux kernel device. Your Apple phone is a Unix/BSD kernel based device. Linux gave Apple Unix. Unix made sense for Apple because they wanted to ride the wave too. Linux was created as an open Unix. If you squint your eyes the "L" and the "i" will become a "U". The previous sentence was rubbish.
November 21, 2008
After puttering along RHT was valued $8.56 on this date. For 9 years I read stock quotes in the newspaper like some read Astrology. I thought to myself as I always thought. "I want to buy this stock." From this date to the present RHT has continued to rise. I was not directly using Redhat because I found that there were other distributions that were friendly to folks like me.
On the other hand I kept paying attention to Redhat and it's customers. I was not a paying customer using Redhat Linux, but I was still in the game and all of us who use Linux benefit from the testing and use by end-users. Bleeding edge is what my friend Scott told me one time.
So I wanted to buy Redhat but I was using Ubuntu. Ubuntu is a commercial venture that remains free. The set up of Ubuntu is extremely easy and full featured. It's not a money maker directly, but it has a hell of a lot of advantages and mystical properties.
Ubuntu Linux, Gwibber, and the Invest 2.30.0 Applet
For about 4 years now I have had steady use of the Ubuntu desktop. Like other distributions before she always came with a lot of software I had no idea how to use or what it was for. One product that came out about a year ago was Gwibber. Like many great products I have come to love it was an enigma. I thought: "Gee micro-blogging, what's that." So I got a twitter account and Gwibber did not work. This is normal on the bleeding edge. I tried everything under the sun, but I could not get it to work. So I was stuck with a Twitter account. I started to use it.
6 Months later Canonical released an updated version (as they do on a regular schedule) of Ubuntu and Gwibber was working. This is normal too. If you have a broken thing in Linux, eventually someone or you will fix it.
Another tool I found was a little widget that sits on my Gnome desktop. Gnome is the GUI I use with my Ubuntu distribution. The tool I found was Invest 2.30.0. This little tool allows you to see stock quotes. It also allows you to put a value in and track it! So I started buying virtual stocks about 9 months ago. I also picked Redhat and put fake money on it. I was earning. I thought to myself: "Self, you need to tweet about this.
Twitter, Stocktwits and Zecco
I started to tweet about Redhat. I knew I knew something. I just didn't know what I knew. I tried to qualifying my statements by linking to smarter resources. Enter Stocktwits.
Somehow my Redhat rants were observe by the folks at Stocktwits. Someone contacted me via twitter and asked me to join. I looked into the stocktwits website and I was impressed. So I joined. My Bio says "I know nothing about stocks. I do know technology."
As I was plowing through stocktwits.com I noticed the Zecco.com adds. From stocktwits, if I had an account, I could trade based on my interest in a stock. All of this fell into place. I could trade. I could learn how to trade.
So now I am trading. I started with $50 dollars. Then I added another $25. My holdings are pretty small. Very small. But there were times in my life that $50 meant eating for a week.
So here is my progress:
I bought $BGP (Borders Books) on a whim that it would be a cheap victory for me for 45 shares @ $0.92. I sat on it for a day and got nervous because I was not liking what I was reading about the company. So I sold it the next day. 45 @ $.90. I also had to pay for each trade $4.5 each time. So I turned $50 into $41.0.
I am still in the game.
I next decided that after looking at my Oracle Subscription to buy ORCL @ 30.85. Just 1 share.
Again I had to pay my trade commission of $4.5, so my $41.0 turned into $34.95. But alas my little ORCL is actually making money. It was Redhat's only sensible competitor. ORCL has Linux too. They also have MySQL, JAVA, Open Office and Oracle's own products. Oracle also has a loyal following and is intensely training based and customer aware. They also hired Mark Hurd who was fired from HP. You got to love that! At this time ORCL is 32.51. It will soon pay for its trade.
That is the most important thing I have learned is that I have to have my trade paid for. Lucky for me my little Invest 2.10.0 applet allows me to put what my commission was and I can see if I am in the hole or not very quickly.
After being happy with my Oracle trade I decided to go after a company that I stumbled upon and decided that I liked. February 1, 2011 they will announce quarterly earnings. I bought 7 PWAV@$3.67. I paid the highest price. If you have to work during the day away from a computer, then the risk is 100% there. No big deal. I chose the stock because the company on paper looks lean and mean. PWAV is $3.56 now. She is bumping about. I am going to sit on it and if it goes to $2.00 I will sell it. I think it will go to $5.00 or even $10.00. Let's say that I am a guesser.
A friend of mine said that investing is like gambling. When I heard that I wanted to say something nasty. I didn't. He owned a hell of a lot more stock than I did. I hate that kind of thinking. I don't understand it. Never let someone else experience limit your own ability. Before I sold my BGP back I read this: 5 Stock Market Myths from the Nasdaq.com website. I decided that my stock just might not make it back up. I also decided that I was right to think of stocks as investing and not gambling. If you are a nihilist, then the stock market is gambling.
So this is my little rant. I am very proud of myself for starting to trade for real. My total holdings are valued now at $57.29 That is a $75 dollars, (4 trades at -$18) if you do the math I am actually up $.29! The trade commissions are necessary so it is the expense needed to do the job. It's my hammer and nails.
I have no formal training as an investor. I know nothing. Of course that is what OgFOMK ArTS has always been about. Do it yourself. Thankfully we live in a time where if you don't get overwhelmed you can learn a lot from a lot of people. I have noticed this too: This is very important! People who really make money are happy to let you know how they do it.
Eventually I will purchase some RHT. I like it. Small investing to big investing. My goal is to make $1000 a day in trading. I plan on doing $100,000 a year and in five $10,000,000. Why? Why not. Most of us are conduits for disposable income. Look at it all and say: "Now I am an investor."