Extreme Measures

Getting Started

There are several forms of extreme investing you can explore, and each requires a different level of capital to get started. Extreme investing in IPOs, for example, requires more time but less capital than other forms of extreme investing. Your time will be spent researching your prospect and strategizing your timing. These days, you can invest as little as a few thousand dollars in an IPO and make a small fortune in a month-or you can lose it all in a day. Naturally, the more you put at risk, the greater your potential reward.

Trading options also requires little start-up capital. You can buy an option for a few hundred dollars and turn that into a few thousand within days or weeks, but the risk of losing every dollar you spent on that option is significantly greater than in other investment scenarios. That's because, unlike owning stock in a company, stock options can expire worthless.

Whether you hope to pursue extreme investing two hours per day or 24/7, you need to treat this endeavor as a business. In fact, you need to think of yourself as a start-up, with a plan and seed capital and all the ifs and maybes and trial and error that characterize every start-up. This means that you may need to factor in a period of loss at the start. Allow for a sufficient start-up period and enough money to support yourself until you're generating income.

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This article was originally published in the November 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Extreme Measures.

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