# Missed opportunities

1. Dec 3, 2008

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
What opportunities have you missed that nag at you?

There are two for me. The first was condoms.

No, I don't mean that for the reason that you think. When genital herpes broke out, I thought of investing in condom stocks ["condom stocks", that always makes me want to chuckle], but since I didn't have much money, I didn't pursue it. Then came AIDS. Years later I met a man who was fishing down at the river near my parent's home. We started talking, and it turned out that he was rich. Guess where he made his money.

The other one continually haunts me through the news. Back in about 1981 I attended a small seminar on business strategies. The speaker was Carl Karcher - the original owner of Carl's Jr restaurants. At one point he diverted from the presentation and told us all that he was very excited about a new investment opportunity. A long shot, he said, but very promising is this company in Korea that is planning to export cars, called Hyundai.

Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
2. Dec 3, 2008

I've missed a few like that - MS, Apple, and several others. I was an undergrad then grad student and didn't have a lot of money to invest. Much later, I was tracking a stock that I could have bought. They did a one time cash dump of over $50/share. Oh, well. I missed a few opportunities to meet some people I would have like to have met years earlier. I would have done some things differently at the time. 3. Dec 4, 2008 ### Ivan Seeking Staff Emeritus How did MS and Apple first come to your attention? I don't remember having any confidence in who would emerge as the winners and losers. And the computer revolution was still science fiction. Apple: It seemed soooo unlikely that a couple of geeks working in their garage might compete with IBM. In much the same way, the story of the YouTube kids is enough to cause whiplash. After I think two years of invested time, they sold for$1.65 billion. Simply amazing! This really must qualify as one of the greatest inventors success stories of all time.

Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
4. Dec 4, 2008

### Cyrus

Wel...................you tube was started by a bunch of guys who were former paypal employees. Not a bunch of 'kids'.

Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
5. Dec 4, 2008

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Sorry, kid, they are kids. And I didn't say a bunch of kids. Why are you misquoting me, kid?

I heard what their ages were when they sold the company - kids. I thought I was gonna be sick.

Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
6. Dec 4, 2008

### Cyrus

You listen here, pops. Its way past your bed time, and I think you need your reading spectacles and hearing aid - old fogey.

(30 years old isnt a kid)

7. Dec 4, 2008

### CaptainQuasar

When I was a teenager in high school and learning about the stock market I looked into "penny stocks" as they call them, the really cheap ones, thinking I might gamble my piggy bank stash on a dream. One that caught my eye was, if I recall correctly, a Mexican public telephone utility, selling for around a dollar per share at the time. This was a few years before NAFTA began and there were all sorts of free trade discussions going on, and I thought to myself, if something like that goes through, the economy in Mexico is just gonna keep expanding...

But I didn't do anything and forgot about it. Ten years later I came across some of my notes, looked up the ticker symbol, and it was at fifty bucks a share. I coulda been the next Warren Buffet, I tell ya.

8. Dec 4, 2008

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
What were their ages when they sold? That is not what I heard when they sold the company. I thought at least one was in his early twenties. Really I didn't remember the age of the other, but thirty is certainly older than I thought. Was he twenty-eight at the time and thirty now? That sounds about right.

9. Dec 4, 2008

### mcknia07

Now, now, children....

10. Dec 4, 2008

### Jimmy Snyder

Once, when I was between jobs, a headhunter asked me if I wanted to own a company. Apparently there was one to be given to anyone who was willing to take over its operations. I'm not the entreprenurial type so I said no, but I have always wondered what would have happened if I had said yes.

11. Dec 4, 2008

I had a friend who worked for IBM and he got one of the first IBM PC's, which cost several thousand $at the time. It was severally limited as it was before HD's started becoming standard. My engineering department had professors and students who favored Apples. I considered them toys. While the Macs we had used Mac OS, they used MS apps like Word and Excel. Back in the mid-70's, the university physics department put out a notice for anyone who could program a microprocessor. This was before MS-OS. 12. Dec 4, 2008 ### f95toli I actually know a guy who invested money in what was then a small start-up company after meeting one of the people who worked there in a bar. The name of the company was Netscape And yes, he did sell most of his stock before the dot-com bubble burst. And yes, he did make quite a lot of money... The guy in question is NOT -as far as I know- very business savy or anything, he was just very lucky,,, 13. Dec 4, 2008 ### Office_Shredder Staff Emeritus You probably would have been saddled with a company laden in debt 14. Dec 4, 2008 ### offtheleft when i was in grade school i had to opportunity to go to australia for a month. i dont remember the name of the organization that was putting it all together but it was for the 'above average' students. i passed it up because i didnt want to be away from my mommy haha. now, i totally regret it. every year since i was 15 i could have been marching a div 1 drum corps over the summer. 15 and 16 i didnt go because of my girlfriend. 17 i couldnt afford it 18 i had to go to summer school because i failed health LOL ( two absences and youre out, i had the effin flu. ) this past year i got cut because i intimidated a lot of the other people auditioning and people left. yeah, not to brag, im gooood and i let everyone know :) i was accepted to rutgers when i was in highschool. i didnt go because i got a job as a garbage man bringing in insane money. now, i forgot everything and im at a community college catching up when this year i could be marching drumcorps, im taking calc 2 over teh summer and working to have some amount of money for my self when i go away next year. i passed up going back to sicily for my cousins wedding. probably a good thing, though. i wouldnt have came back. i passed up going to visit my cousin. my uncle, aunt and a few cousins and family friends came to the state to stay with my cousin reno in lancaster and i went on a motorcycle run with a few friends instead. that night i got hit by a car at livingston campus(?)(by the soccer field) at rutgers. there is many mannnny more. 15. Dec 4, 2008 ### Jimmy Snyder So what. I could have given myself a$10M bonus and another $10M severance pay. 16. Dec 4, 2008 ### Danger When I opened my first bank account at the age of nine, I had$35 to deposit. Gold was $35 per ounce, and I wanted to buy some. My mother wouldn't let me. When it hit$1,000 per ounce, I wanted to strangle her.
At 15, I had a few hundred bucks in the bank, and thought that it would be neat to buy however much stock I could in a little company that I found interesting... 3M. Once again, my mother vetoed it. :grumpy:

17. Dec 4, 2008

### Staff: Mentor

My list is so long that it's too depressing to go into, but thanks for reminding me. :grumpy:

18. Dec 4, 2008

### D H

Staff Emeritus
I had some spare money at the time some silly business held its IPO. The dot.com boom is over, and how in the world could this thing possibly make any money?

So I didn't invest in it. The business:

19. Dec 5, 2008

### TheStatutoryApe

There are a couple companies that I thought of investing in though they were already well on their way to success. Starbucks in particular. At that time I'm not sure if I could have afforded much since they had already started hitting big but I'm quite certain they have grown much in the last ten or eleven years.

20. Dec 5, 2008

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
A friend once compelled me to buy stock in El Paso Gas, but I couldn't get past the name.