Full Circle Financial Groups Michael Turner discusses his experiences with fraudulent companies

Top Quote Michael Turner, Full Circle Financial Group, Hong Kong, discusses his experiences as a junior trader. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) February 18, 2015 - In the winter of 1995 after having our first child, my wife and I decided to finally buy our first home. I had already been in the work force for Six years and had saved up close to $30.000 just for this occasion. It was enough of a down payment for a good home in a good neighborhood.

    We started looking at different houses with our real estate agent trying to find that perfect house. Meanwhile at work, two of my colleagues (and good friends) had made significant investments in a penny stock and were overjoyed with the returns the stock had delivered so far at that point. The stock had gone from $1 to $4 in just a few months and the momentum seemed to be pointing up. So after a brief (too brief) consideration, I gave in to temptation and plunged my entire home down payment into this stock. I thought to myself that it will be a long time before I would have $30,000 to invest with and all I wanted was to give the money a week to grow so I could make an extra few thousand dollars and still make the down payment.

    A week later the stock had dropped to half of its value and I was looking at $15,000.

    Panic stricken, I sold my shares and cashed out only to see the stock go right back up without me along for the ride. So I put back the $15,000 into the stock with the hope that stock was now poised to rise further, only to see the stock fall yet again, leaving me with only $5,000 when finally cashed out. In a matter of three short weeks my $30,000 down payment I had worked six years for had dwindled to $5,000. Buying a home was now out of the question.

    As you could imagine that was a tough month in my life. The pressure, stress, anger, frustration, depression, and the reaction of utter disappointment from my wife were all too much to handle.

    Rather than learning from this lesson, I set out (as gamblers would) to reclaim my losses from the market. I invested $3,000 of my remaining money into a $0.06 per share penny stock I had little knowledge about except what I had read somewhere on the web.

    Clearly an act of desperation. The stock languished for two months with ultra-low volumes. I tried to sell it back at the purchase price a few times with no success. The best I could do was to possibly sell it for the bid price of $0.03 which meant that once again I would have lost half of my remaining money. So I decided to hold on to it. And then it happened.

    Suddenly and without any sign the stock began to climb both in price and volume. In the three days that followed, the stock reached $2 per share while breaking NASDAQ volume records. I finally decided to sell my shares at $1.50 and cleaned out $75,000 from that investment.

    Two weeks later, after the scam company was found fraudulent, its stock plunged to $0.001 per share, leaving the numerous traders with substantial losses. I, however, had gone from depression to elation. A few more investments in early 1996 brought my net worth in stocks to $100,000. With pressure from my wife, I was finally persuaded to buy that house, paying $40.000 as down payment, and while she insisted that I put the rest of the money in a safe investment, I went on to become a pseudo-daytrader, trading over $1.5 million in 1996. My investment value however remained the same until early 1997 when I lost just about all of it in a few risky trades in stocks and options. And that is when I really learned about the capital gains tax laws. I was still responsible for hefty capital gains taxes for my 1996 gains, and I had lost all of my money in 1997. I ended up using a credit card to pay off those taxes.

    The above story paints a picture of an ignorant (and arrogant) trader who was a financial danger to himself and his family. But I was able to learn from all that and turn my financial life around before it was too late.

    One of the first actions I took in taking control of my investments was to educate myself. I had certainly learned firsthand the penalty for ignorance. Today I consider myself a long-term investor, but more importantly, a more educated investor. I now work as a junior portfolio manager for a financial management company called Full Circle Financial Group based in Hong Kong. It's fair to say that I am now a far cry from the amateur trader I was a few years ago!

    I still take occasional risks on stocks and options, but I do so with the awareness that losing that money will not adversely affect my lifestyle and plans.

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