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“If I had just held my Coca Cola stock, we’d be very wealthy now!”

These are words I heard many times when I was growing up in Alabama. My grandmother, a widow at a young age, enjoyed investing in the stock market her entire adult life.

I took photo in CO City, TX, with Canon camera.
Image via Wikipedia

She took a nice profit in Coca Cola, but, alas, who knew it would become a ten-bagger plus! (Using a term that Peter Lynch coined.)

Her influence nurtured my fascination in investing, so it was natural for me to begin investing as an adult. I first subscribed to Investor’s Business Daily in 1991 which came with a “free” copy of William O’Neil’s book, How to Make Money in Stocks. I adopted the Can Slim method of investing, and began my long road of studying the stock market.

Like many investors, I didn’t pay enough attention to my risk exposure. While I increased my portfolio substantially in the late 1990’s, I lost more than I care to remember in the Tech Bubble Bear Market of 2000. I had been curious about Options before that point, but didn’t have the time or motivation to take on the education. The drawdown of 2000 provided all the motivation I needed! Thankfully, upon retiring, I found the options educator that would give me the tools to develop skills to use options to protect my capital AND increase my returns.

There have been many wonderful books written about successful investors/traders. Anyone with a passion for this industry quickly recognizes that there are dozens of basic methodologies that, when learned and applied well, can help you become financially independent. The key for me was in complementing the Can Slim method with a skilled application of options for risk-protection and increased gains. I still hear family and friends say, “options are too risky.” I just smile. As with so many things, the reality is, “not if you know how to use them.”

I wonder what my grandmother would think if she could see me now?

Emilu Bailes
OptionsANIMAL Instructor

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