Monday, November 5, 2007

PetroChina and my IRA

A few years ago I was buying stock. Not a lot. I was mostly doing a hundred bucks here or there through Sharebuilder. Sharebuilder is an online broker that buys dollar amounts of stock, as opposed to number of shares. Because they buy stock in "street name"- as opposed to Ms. PiggyBankBlues, you end up with fractional shares. After the tech crash I was buying up internet stocks, etc. and after a year or two I would sell them. Because I had an emergency without an emergency fund, I ended up using that money. Thankfully, I didn't touch the stock held in my Roth IRA. Eventually, I switched to Scottrade after Sharebuilder began to charge annual fees for IRA accounts. And then I forgot about it.

Recently Warren Buffet sold off his shares of PetroChina. I sort of remembered that I had bought some shares a few years ago. Because I only sort of remembered, I was like you really need to get your crap together and figure out what stock you own and don't own, ya numbnut. But that was last week and this is this week. And then I saw this morning that PetroChina is now the wealthiest public company in the world.

    On PetroChina’s first day of trading on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, it surpassed the combined capitalization of Exxon Mobil and General Electric, the world’s next two most valuable companies.

Because I was buying such low amounts of stock, I knew that if I still had it I probably only owned one share. So after hunting around for my Scottrade file with my account number, I logged on to my account and found out that indeed I owned a single share. I bought it for $53.69, and it is now worth $227.07. And for what it's worth, during the time I started writing this post and the time I'm writing this sentence, the price went up two dollars. Which leads me to my question, now what???

I will be the first to admit I am just an average to considerably below average stock picker. In fact, any misconstrued-as-advice I give or tales I tell in relation to stock you should never ever take as sound advice for purchasing said stock. You should be entertained by my efforts, at most. Which is why, I might point out, my Roth IRA has only been invested in mutual funds over the last few years.

I am not a fan of oil stocks. They are profitable, but they throw my moral compass off a bit. It's an unreliable compass and I don't venture on its sole direction, but still. I made a decent amount, a couple thousand dollars, off of BP stock two years ago. I sold it in order to go away for a month to a writer's colony. So while BP has refinery fires and oil spills and god only knows what else, I still drive a car and bought and sold its stock. But that writer's residency was an experience of a lifetime, and I would not have been able to afford to take the time off at the time had I not bought the stock. So I draw the line and the line moves. For now, no war profiteering stocks.

And PetroChina? Well, I think I'll revisit that stock in another five years. I've never had any stock quadruple in value! In the meantime, I have $205 I forgot about in available funds to buy stock. Hmmm, Apple?


Ms. M&P said...

This is awesome. I love your investments--oil in China, land in Arizona--it's great! I wish I could find some land in northern Spain on ebay...and maybe some Russian oil stock? *going to look*

PiggyBankBlues said...

lukoil? russian oil is gonna go thru the roof. i would love to find land in northern spain...