How our side project improved my investing skills

My husband is a software engineer, and together we have launched a couple of projects. The latest one, Bullish, a newsletter that delivers stock market information to your inbox every day, has helped me immensely to improve my investing skills.

We are a couple who enjoys talking about money. We have our goals and are firm believers in budgets, saving, and investing. So from time to time, the conversation circles back to the topic of being smart with our money.

Investment is something relatively new to me. Although I always thought investing was exciting and always admired those with the grit to do it, I never got into it. I thought investing was too hard, something out of my league, and a way to lose money, which I dreaded. Although I would read about the stock market and finances to keep up with hubby, I never made the actual move to start investing.

Until in 2017, after hearing a lot of buzz about Robinhood , I decided to give it a try. And I’m glad I did.

If you are not familiar with Robinhood, they are an app where anyone can invest. From beginners to more advanced investors, they make things pretty easy and straightforward for you to work on your portfolio. Of course, you still need to put in the work and do your research to make sure your decisions are on point, but Robinhood has an easy enough interface that will let you navigate the stock market frenzy without a fuss.

After I started my investing account, I read about finances here and there, checking some tips on Reddit, and asking hubby a ton of questions. I was far from being an aggressive investor, and my cashflow on the app was super low to avoid regrets, but I still wanted to be on top of things.

I kept a specific routine and made a few moves. I even tried day trading after a while, which I don’t recommend unless you dig deep into it. Day trading is not for the faint of heart or for those who are not committed to research a lot to know they are making the right choices.

But after the first few months of excitement, I plateaued and would only check my Robinhood account from time to time. After making a few wrong decisions and running out of my initial budget, I was not as keen on investing anymore.

Fast forward a little, and Bullish enters the scene. By nature, my husband is always thinking about ways to make things easier for him. So he decided to build a newsletter that would deliver pertinent stock market information - stock market futures, indexes performance, sector performance, and more - to his inbox daily. This way, he wouldn’t need to visit several sites to get the info he needed. He thought that data was essential to him; it would be necessary for more people too. It turns out he was right. We launched Bullish and had some great feedback.

Working on the project and being part of its development, launch, and daily routine was an excellent way to improve my investing skills. I loved getting the newsletter early in the morning with stock market insights. That information kept me in the loop, and I felt more confident about investing in general. It seemed that the simple fact of being informed and on top of things made me a better investor.

From learning that you can keep an eye on the stock market futures to have a feel for what the day will look like, to waiting for the closing data to see how the day was, I was getting used to the investment world’s flow.

Our newsletter also shows trending stocks, top gainers and losers, etc. In no time, I knew which stocks were up or down, how the main indexes were performing, etc. I started to follow the market a little closer to try to have a better understanding of how things work.

We launched Bullish right when the whole pandemic started. So the timing was right to keep an eye on the market’s reactions and stay aware of any opportunities. To me, it was mind-blowing to see how the pharma companies were soaring - even those you never heard of - while some well-known companies were tanking. Checking the market data every morning became a habit, and I was quickly more aware of market performance.

On Fridays, for example, when we have some sector performances on Bullish, I learned a whole lot about the real estate sector, telecom, industrials, materials, etc. Sectors that I have never checked closely but now crossed my radar and made me broaden my look into the market.

For instance, I had no clue that the consumer discretionary sector represents 11 industries (automotive, household durables, leisure equipment, textiles and apparel, hotels, restaurants, and consumer retailing and services, to name a few). I also didn’t know what the Materials sector was all about. Now I know it includes companies that make or process materials, such as chemicals, glass, construction, paper, packaging, etc.

Did you know that the stock market’s real estate sector represents two industries (real estate development trusts and real estate development and operation)? I didn’t.

I know that I still have a lot to learn and that my investment knowledge will keep developing, but I do have to thank Bullish for jumpstarting things. Often, we don’t even know what type of information we need to improve on something. So when things happen naturally, we feel even more proud of the results.

When we started developing Bullish, I thought that hubby would benefit from it, and I would be the one running after the bandwagon to keep up. Now I see that I’m taking advantage of it as much as him, and I’m happy about it.