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Lucky Me! $20 investment is now $77.43

February 16th, 2007 at 04:40 pm

Sometimes you just get lucky. I need to remind myself of this situation when I start feeling down on myself for losing money on silly things-- like returning a library book late or forgetting to use a coupon. Or that $100 speeding ticket.

Back in December, I read this post at MyMoneyBlog about ShareBuilder deals. I had never purchased stock, but figured I might as well throw in $20 and give it a try.

I donít have a Costco Membership, but I was able to use some of Jonathanís advice to finagle a great deal.

This is what I did:

1.) I went to eBates.com to see if they were offering a ShareBuilder.com rebate. Although the eBate is no longer valid, at the time they were offering a $20 eBate for opening a ShareBuilder account plus a $5 eBate for new members.
NOTE: For those unfamiliar with eBates, itís a shopping portal that offers cash back if you purchase via their portal. Membership is free. If you use this link to become a member and eventually buy something, both you and I will get a $5 check.

2.) After I signed up for eBates, I followed their link to ShareBuilder. Once on the ShareBuilder site I used the coupon code ďHIGHER50Ē when opening my account and transferred $20 from my checking into the ShareBuilder account. I didnít read all the details about the HIGHER50 code, but it mentioned something about getting $50, so I figured Iíd give it a try. I knew I already had my initial investment returned (+$5) through eBates.

I wasnít ready to buy stock yet, so I just let the money sit in Sharebuilder for a few weeks while I thought about what to do next (well, OK, Iíll be honest, it was more like I let the money sit there while I put off thinking about what to do next). ShareBuilder puts the money in a money market so you can actually earn some interest while you think / procrastinate.
NOTE: HIGHER50 is expired, but I believe you can currently get a similar deal with the code SHARE50 or TVSB50

3.) I fully expected to have to pay the $4 / trade fee when I finally got around to buying stock, but in mid-January I got an email from ShareBuilder reminding me that my 2 free trades would be expiring at the end of the month. Two free trades? Who knew? I do not know how I got these 2 free trades. Maybe it was part of the HIGHER50 code, maybe it was a promo. Like I said, I think I got lucky this time around.

4.) On January 17th, I purchased 1 share of Gentiva
(GTIV) for $19.40. I was not charged a trading fee and the remaining balance ($0.60) sat in the money market.

5.) Today, I got an email from ShareBuilder informing me that the $50 from the HIGHER50 code has been placed into my ShareBuilder Money Market. I checked, sure enough it was. In addition, my 1 share of Gentiva is now worth $21.78 (+12% since I purchased it).

So in summary, my initial $20 investment turned into $77.43:

$21.78 (current value of Gentiva stock)
$25 eBate
$50.65 in ShareBuilder Money Market (includes $50 coupon code bonus + $0.60 left over from initial investment + $0.05 interest).

I plan to re-invest the $50 bonus this weekend. I donít expect to get rich with this, but itís been a fun get my feet wet and take an interest in the stock market.

Iím not going to add any of this to my $20 Challenge since technically this whole ordeal began in December.

3 Responses to “Lucky Me! $20 investment is now $77.43”

  1. Mary Ann Says:

    I really enjoyed reading your post. Good job. Be sure and post what you do next with this!!!

  2. pfmax Says:

    A great deal indeed, if only the $20 was $200, you'd be looking at $770!!

  3. Joe Owens Says:

    I tried to get the Costco incentive from Sharebuilder and they wouldn't pay up - said I have an invalid member number. I saved my application form, and it has my number, which is valid, on it. So, don't count on getting your incentive. Even if you get it eventually, you might have to argue with them.

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