From Physics to Finance Part 1 of 3
Physics and Engineering – The Early Days
From an early age I was fascinated with technology, I built cars and trucks out of boxes and sardine tins. I dismantled every piece of broken electronic device in my home (and some perfectly good ones too, for which I paid the price.) I was fascinated with electricity, magnetism and whatever that thing was that allow things to take certain shapes or display certain properties.
I vividly remember trying to make a permanent magnet from a screw. I had read about ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals and domains in the Grade Nine Science Book. I decided I should be able to successfully make my own magnet. I had previous succeeded in building an electromagnet and so I figured, how hard could it be. The unfortunate thing is that I had not yet read what happens to a house’s electrical system when a short circuit occurs. My experiment ended up causing a total blackout, my father was not pleased.
Head Start on Physics
I spent the better half of my free time in 7 – 12 grade at my schools library, Clarendon College has the biggest library in the parish of Clarendon and I have never felt more at home anywhere. I would spend time reading from the World Book Encyclopedia. I researched great Physicists and Philosophers. I read mostly about nuclear processes, like nuclear fission and fusion, cosmic radiation, the life cycle of stars, robotics, medical technology and bombs (I was a different person then). There was useful, though not sufficient information.
I had always wanted to build a robot and had multiple attempts at it as my knowledge grew. I also got fascinated with the Internet, how it worked and how it could be made better. I do not wish to make it seem that I was always an astute student, although I was a total nerd. I spend quite some time playing “Need For Speed” and it is to this day my favourite game. I got pretty good at it too, you would have a real challenge on your hand if you were to decide to race me. I was actually more fascinated with the cars than I was with actually playing.
Fast forward five years and I have attained a Bachelors degree in Medical Physics and Electronics. I have built, websites, multiple integrated circuits, embedded systems and…taptadadaah…an actual autonomous robot. I took part in a national coding competition, joined two businesses, had an online programming career, aided in getting approval for a research unit and built two businesses of my own. I could not have imagined learning as much as I have within what now seems like a very short time.
The other thing that happened while I was studying for my degree is that I got introduced to personal development and the stock market. Combined, the exposure to these two things is the greatest thing that has happened to me during the time I spent at The UWI. As of October 12, 2017, I am a three year old Investor. I have made some remarkable gains in the local market and have made some equally remarkably silly mistakes. I have made pretty much every mistake one could conceive as an investor. Some of my most memorable blunders include:
- Buying and selling the wrong stock.
- Buying and selling at the wrong time.
- Buying and selling at the wrong price.
- Not doing my homework.
- Jumping in head first.
- Going it alone.
- Thinking I knew it all (hubris)
- Buying a Mutual Fund
- Not getting a mentor.
In part two I will take you through my three year journey as an Investor, expound on some of the things I have learnt, tell of how I found my investing philosophy and explain my long term vision for Caribbean Value Investor. I will also explain the role of Physics, Programming and Engineering in Finance. See you then.
~Devrhoid O. Davis