One Year Of Using Robinhood: Timing and Dumb Luck

Back in March 2020, I wrote a post titled “Is Robinhood My New Baseball Cards?”, to compare my new use of the Robinhood app to when I collected baseball cards in my youth. Now that I approach my one year anniversary of getting my first stock on the app, I thought I’d share this update on how these first 12 months went.

Going into it, I knew this was nothing more than a hobby, and something I would not put a ton of money into. As my prior post states, I thought I’d put in a $100, but then by that March post, it was up to $240. To date, I’m now exactly at $700 in deposited funds, and I intend to keep it that way — my last deposit was $25 a couple months ago.

On March 19, 2020, I stated that I was down 26% already. That drop was obviously due to the timing of COVID advancing in the U.S. and that period of uncertainty from everyone. I naively thought my timing of starting Robinhood right before this decline was not good — but this was a good lesson of buying low as I continued to buy most of stocks over the course of the next several months, not realizing how quickly the market would tick back up again.

So, right now, my return on my account is a staggering 147%! My $700 investment is at $1,729.

Account snapshot February 9, 2021

Part of the good return is due to the several free referral stocks I received. I will list those freebies at both their original value and today’s value.

PLUG $4.26; now $68.10 each (plus I bought 2 more shares at $5.99 each)
PSEC $4.64; now $6.90
AMRX $2.88; now $5.86
MRO $3.83; now $8.93
HAL $4.75; I sold it at $18.75 last week

With the stocks I purchased, my rhyme or reason was primarily either industries/innovations that interest me (e.g. energy innovation; autonomous) or companies I enjoy/respect (e.g. Apple; Disney; Microsoft; Subaru; U.S. Bank). Either I was already aware of them or I read about their innovations. And some were just random such as because I liked the name (LOVE) or an IPO (Big Commerce) or they came up when I search my kids’ first names. So this was some thought and some dumb luck.

Here are all my holdings and my current return or (loss). For most stocks, I only bought one share, but I do have some multiples ranging from 2–27 shares, and a few 0.25 shares before reinvested dividends.

PLUG up 1,605.36%
FRSX up 1,059.28%
TLRY up 175.03%
F up 53.88%
DAKT up 9.97%
LOVE up 727.02%
PSEC up 1,466.40% (with a $0 base cost, percent is based on my $0.4405 in dividends)
AMRX $0 cost; $5.86 current value
DIS up 98.02%
MRO up 29,766.22% (with a $0 base cost, percent is based on my $0.0299 in dividends)
MSFT up 68.94%
GE up 50.95%
CBAT up 1,735.71%
VWAGY up 49.04%
FUJHY up 5.48%
USB up 28.73%
NFE up 324.82%
VSLR (now RUN) up 703.33%
BIGC up 18.00%
GNUS up 41.56%
AAPL up 6.43%
VLDR up 10.94%
CIDM up 287.12%
KCAC (now QS) up 184.20%
EADSY down (4.11%)
FAMI up 39.22%
NOVA up 17.09%
HASI up 2.16%
CTRCQ down (100%); company went out of business; loss of $3.31

Overall, even if I wasn’t up the totally abnormal 147%, I would say it’s been a fun and informative year. Going forward, this will still remain a hobby and if I resist the urge, I won’t put in any more funds (though I know I will eventually!).