Ashley’s investment journey

Junior builds investment potfolioJunior builds investment portfolio, expands assets


Ashley Francis, Guest Writer

In 2018, I began to start thinking of ways I could grow my assets to save up for a car. From the start, I had little to no experience with financing, so I took it upon myself to understand the methods of long- term and short-term value investing. 

After many months of researching, I asked my parents for some guidance, and they helped me to arrange a meeting with a portfolio manager. From my first meeting, I understood that the process of investing wasn’t something that I could just sit back and watch from a distance. I had to take control of the process and truly understand what my money was doing and how I could continue to grow it. 

During the summers leading up to 2018, I spent my time working as a camp counselor and working at my mothers office until I had earned enough money to start a baseline portfolio. As any first-time investor would, I placed my funds into well rounded and “safe” businesses. I split my first investments equally into Amazon, Apple, Starbucks, and the Vanguard Total Stock Market. After a few lucky months of watching my money slowly increase, I knew I needed to start branching out into riskier and newer businesses. 

I was very cautious of my investment choices and began researching new publicly trading companies in the CBD industry. Although my portfolio manager wasn’t too keen on my idea, I invested in a Canadian based company called Canopy Growth. I was aware that this was a risky short-term investment, so I consistently checked in on how the stock was doing. 

After two months my money had almost doubled from this investment, so I decided to sell it and put half of my profit into my savings. In 2019, I took a trip to China where I learned about a modernized coffee company that was rapidly growing and was competing with Starbucks. I imamediately called my manager and asked if I could place all my remaining funds into the company. She warned me how risky this was as it was a new business, but I had a good feeling about my investment plan. 

This was the decision that changed the way I handle my investments to this day. In a matter of months, my money in the coffee stock had tripled and I was at a loss of what to do next. After consulting with my advisor, I decided to sell it after I was comfortable with the profit I had made. 

Now, here is where the crazy part starts. Two days after I sold all my shares, I checked up on the company and found that it had completely crashed to ground zero. It turns out that the corporation had fabricated over 300 million dollars in sales and had filed for bankruptcy only days after I had sold my shares. As you can guess, if I hadn’t sold out, more than half of my portfolio would have been lost and my money would have been wasted.