Yesterday I downloaded the Robinhood app to my Smarter than Me phone. It took six hours to figure out I couldn’t use it on my laptop without doing things that I have no clue how to do.
Like the instructions I found on Reddit:
‘Download Kuggenheimer’s UV ray blocking program and then upload that to your PC. Unzip it, without catching any delicate bits in the zipper, and transfer it to your phone. Then, if you’re lucky, and you aren’t a 64 year old woman, but are a 22 year old man with software development experience, you can use the Robinhood app on your PC. Easy peasy.’
I paraphrased. No 22 year old man has ever said ‘Easy peasy.’ Those instructions were a little different, too.
After several hours, my son woke up and came into the living room where I was sitting on the sofa sobbing softly into the pillows and cursing the day I ever heard the word ‘app’. I tried not to wake him on his day off, but that may change someday. I might have to slam his door open and shout, “I’ve got a Smarter than Me emergency! Get your butt out here!”
I’d been reading about stocks and brokers all morning long, and I came across the Robinhood app articles after I’d already signed up for ETrade and TD Ameritrade.
They had all kinds of instructions, and demands, and recipes I had to follow to start trading and paying them money, namely a three day wait to start playing the stock market. And something about giving them my first born, who was slumbering away in the next room and hates when I turn him over to the Feds.
The app had been pending and downloading forever. I couldn’t figure out how to get it to get its butt on my phone. I could barely find my library of apps in Google Play.
After he got up, found out why the sofa was wet, and stuck out his hand for my phone, everything went swimmingly. Almost.
I still had a few hang ups, like when I kept getting a screen with four dots and a feather. What fresh hell was that? How do I get to the good stuff? More tears fell until he told me that was the screen to enter my pin.
Why couldn’t they just SAY so? I hate to feel like an idiot! Well, anymore than I usually feel. I had just finished sobbing, “Why is everything so easy for everyone else? Why?“
Because those rotten Millennials don’t want us to know things, that’s why.
MY generation invented the damn internet, and I can’t figure any of it out on my own! I still don’t know all the ins and outs of a WordPress site. I decided to sell shares in my son, though. He may not know how to fix a toaster, but he sure knows how to whip the internet into shape.
Anyway, I threw a few bucks into my Robinhood account (I love the name, but I’m easy. I also like men in tights), and we were off to the races buying and selling the few stocks we could afford. Little confetti bits came down when I bought some $5 shares.
No commissions! It’s unbelievable!
I was wheeling and dealing, and discussing stocks with my son like I was Trump and he was Trump Jr. (God forbid.) We talked IPOs, and the ups and downs of the market, and the things he’d read on 4Chan about stocks to look out for.
I found out Roku is going public soon, and at the same time, I found out only a select few can buy shares when a company goes public. What is that about? Rich people make me sick. My friend told me to buy a share of Berkshire Hathaway, ha ha, which is over a quarter million dollars per share.
I bet I own more shares of JC Penney’s than some guy owns of Berkshire. Ha! JC Penney’s was only $5 a share. And they might buy Sears. Those babies are gonna be worth a lot.
So I was quite pleased with myself, and grabbed my phone first thing this morning to see what kind of millions I was sitting on. My stock was down $2. Can you believe it? All they had to do was show me a little somethin’ somethin’ and I’d have been so happy.
Well, I didn’t go into a market panic and sell everything I owned, because I also found out my purchasing power had doubled overnight. Instead, I bought a share of a real estate development company! I felt like a cigar chomping, top hat wearing, club going, tuxedo wearing, penguin looking, old school member of Wall Street.
As a Millennial, I really suck. My fantasies are so 1930s.
As I drove to the pool for a work out, which passes as ‘The Club’ for the Abysmally Destitute, and during which I became deafened by the screams of two hundred peons under 10, I thought about my new addiction.
What is the difference, I wondered, between being flat broke and having shares of stock? Or even just having money in a savings account? I can’t reach in my bag and pay for groceries with my stock shares. If someone invites me out, or asks to borrow money, I can’t fork over the cash.
My money is all tied up, and my assets are no longer liquid.
Until I start crying over a stock market crash.