Will Handke is an aspiring investor and entrepreneur who currently resides in his home state of Minnesota. He is a recent graduate of Georgetown University, where he majored in American Studies and minored in Theology.

Will’s introduction to the world of investing was largely incidental. When he was in his early teen years, Will, like many young men his age, would attempt to woo his schoolmate crushes via the revolutionary piece of software that was AOL Instant Messenger – a communication medium that was monumentally genius in its creation, insofar as it made it far easier for thirteen-year-olds to end their two-week long relationships. The early versions of AOL Instant Messenger featured a rolling stock ticker that displayed the prices of several market indices, as well as the prices of various stocks. One of these stocks was Apple, Inc., which, at the time (Summer ’99), was trading at a meager $12 per share. “That seems cheap!” Will thought to himself as he chatted away on his shiny iMac computer. Thus, while Will’s schoolmate crushes went un-wooed, he had found his first stock pick.

Will took his investment idea to his mother and firmly requested that what little savings he had be invested in Apple. His pitch was stupendously brilliant in its simplicity: “We use Apple computers. Apple computers are good. Because Apple’s computers are good, Apple’s stock must be good. Therefore, I want to buy Apple’s stock.” Will’s mother – surprisingly unmoved by her son’s highly cogent reasoning – denied the request.

The next chapter of Will’s investing career began much later, in September of 2007. Will’s timing for putting his feet into the waters of the markets could not have been better. On the day that he opened his investment account, the S&P 500 closed at 1529 – just shy of its five-year highs. Moreover, the majority of market prognosticators promised nothing but a solid fall harvest of stock gains.

In the short-term, Will’s portfolio, flush with the stocks of company’s that he well knew, but certainly did not know well, outperformed. Dreams of stock-market-made fame and wealth inundated his mind. Who knew the hangover from these dreams could hurt so much and last so long?

The market malaise that began in the waning months of 2007 would definitively prove two things: First, Rudyard Kipling was far more than a great poet. Second, Will Handke was far less than a bad investor. As Rudyard’s Gods of the market tumbled, and Will’s portfolio look hernia-inducing losses, the latter promised himself that he would actually try to learn something about investing. The process of self-education that Will then began is still ongoing, and, he prays, will never end.

The results and the reports from that process will be featured here, at this blog. Will entertains few fanciful expectations that others might read of it, or gain from it, but if it helps one soul work through their investing experience as much as he hopes that it will help him work through his – why it would make him all the merrier.

Other Random Tidbits of Information:

In addition to investing, Will partakes in a number of regular activities. They include: PC and console gaming, maintaining his personal fitness, trying to learn Mandarin Chinese, dancing when no one is looking, and developing a small business concept.

Will holds the NASAA Series 63 and 65 licenses.

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