The instant gratification addiction
Sameer’s first job came fairly easy. A happy go lucky boy, he never studied very hard in school. A decent amount of pocket money from his father and some extra sneaked out by his doting mother kept him satisfied. He took up Arts in college telling everyone that a decision about ‘career’ can be taken at the post graduate level. Else he could always join his dad’s electronics business.
In college, Sameer got exposed to a whole new world. Parties, dinners, smoking up and girlfriends, these kept him occupied all the time. But soon the money felt less. His parents would neither be able to understand nor afford his new lifestyle. Hence he picked up a job in a BPO on the outskirts of Delhi. More money made Sameer more independent and heroic. He hosted parties and bought expensive stuff. This really felt good. More of this would surely feel even better?
One day, a colleague in office mentioned his share portfolio to Sameer. He had been systematically investing money in some stocks and had been seeing steady gains. Sameer decided to give this a shot. He asked for the guy’s help in investing 10,000 rupees. The next morning his friend rushed to his desk to tell Sameer that his stock had seen an overnight 7% increase and now his investment stood at 10700 rupees. Sameer smiled. The following day there was a bit of a dip, but again the day after there was an increase and Sameer’s investment stood at 11650 within a week. This was interesting, Sameer thought. He could do well at this. He decided to take things up himself and put some more money. Within a month, Sameer had learnt most mechanics of the stock market. He had invested a total of 45000 of his own money, 9700 earned as recent profits and 20000 borrowed from his friends.
He was doing well. One day he earned 35200 within a single day and was thrilled! Another day he walked off with 25000. This was the time when the Indian stock market was bullish. The sensex was touching new heights every day. People were becoming millionaires in a day. But there were stories about people losing millions in a day too. Sameer had heard of them. His colleague had withdrawn his money and had already advised Sameer also to take it easy.
But Sameer was addicted. He was hooked to the stock market. He had started advising his friends in college, investing their money and building up his own portfolio multifold. He had been reading warnings from specialists in the newspaper but was in no mood to pay heed to them. Then one day, he earned 100,000 rupees in a day. That day Sameer walked home and asked his father for 500,000 rupees by hook or by crook. He called up all his friends and rounded up another 450,000. His own portfolio was 225,000 by then and some of his other contacts were also willing to give money. By the end of the evening, he had 1625,000 rupees that he invested in the one stock he had been studying for a week. Even as his girlfriend told him it was too much money to put into one stock he had been watching for only a week, he smiled and reassured her. Then he went home and slept.
The next morning was the sharpest fall of 800 points in the Bombay stock exchange sensex. Sameer was shocked but knew it will recover. But over the next few days the sensex continued to fall. By the end of the week, Sameer knew he had no chances of recovering his money, let alone earn a profit. By the end of the month, he had lost 1000,000. He had a severe anxiety attack for which he was hospitalized for 3 days but he could tell anything to his parents. When he came out of the hospital, his friends started asking for their money, first politely then sternly. He paid them over a period of the next 2 months. Finally he accepted his error in front of his girlfriend and they both sat down and chalked a plan. He confessed the entire blunder to his father and promised to return his money over the next 6 months. While it was not easy for Sameer to get over his addiction to making quick money, this was a great lesson in the real life tht lay before him as he stepped out of college.
Moral of the story? Short term tactics lead to short term success.
This post is written for the colgate campagne that encourages you not to ignore warming signs! Visit Colgate Total Blog for more.