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How I Turned $20 into Six Figures Through Investing The year is 2021, but the fundamentals of research, patience and wit remain hugely profitable investing virtues, along with a few other key factors

By Luis Cortes Edited by Matt Scanlon

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I began my investment journey five years ago while working a full-time job. I was fortunate enough to have both stability and a job that allowed me to make more money than I needed at the time. Unlike my peers, instead of going out and partying on the weekends, I began to read books on investing and how to play the stock market. As a typical millennial, I began playing the market irresponsibly, looking to make quick gains, then quickly learned that didn't work. So, I began versing myself on how to invest for the long-term. This led me to research different brokers and where my money would be best served, so I opened a brokerage account and deposited just $20. I was working for a publicly-traded company at the time, so it was only logical for me to buy $20 worth of that particular asset, so I did. I knew that this company was and would continue to be successful.

My hunger for knowledge didn't stop there. I began reading books like The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefevre, and others alike. As I continued reading and learning, I quickly realized that the key to wealth wasn't day trading, but rather long-term investments. Instead of having a savings account, I decided to put all of the overflow money into my brokerage account. I would set a goal and when I would hit that goal, I would then use that money to buy stocks in different companies that caught my attention. This wasn't easy. In order to do so, I had to do extensive research on the particular companies and why they were a good fit for my portfolio. At first, I made the mistake of having over 40 companies in the portfolio and none of them were really making significant gains. I decided to take The Intelligent Investor's approach and began to focus on a small number of companies that allowed me to grow my wealth and kept my attention tight instead of trying to spread attention 42 different ways.

We all think that investing in the stock market is just a walk in the park, and with all the available options to do so nowadays, it is fairly easy to get in the market, but are you really winning? I've made significant mistakes in my investment journey, and now my goal is to teach those who are getting started how to avoid those mistakes. In my book, The Hustle Made Me Do It: Traders and Investors 101, I show people how to achieve financial independence through investing and do so by explaining the material that what I've learned over the years in simple terms. Today, I want to share seven lessons that have been particularly impactful for me.

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