A year ago, on November 12, 2006, I purchased my first mutual fund. At the time, only about 300,000 Russians out of 140 mln population were buyers of stocks and mutual funds. My family and friends were suspicious about stock market, but I was interested in mutual funds and determined to buy one. I’d been contemplating for half a year. It was so difficult to choose the right company and the right fund! But finally, I picked an index fund of the subsidiary of my bank. One day after classes, when I was alone, I braced myself and went to the nearest office, which happened to be five minutes’ walk away from my dormitory. It was Friday, about 7 p.m., and already dark outside. I was nervous and scared. It seemed like I was doing something shameful, as I didn’t want anybody see me and ask me where I was headed. I probably just didn’t want anyone try to discourage me.
People in Moscow usually buy mutual funds in big, expensive offices in downtown. The small office near my dormitory, which is situated very, very far from the center of the city, usually processes loans and savings accounts. So, it turned out I was the first person in the district who had an idea to buy mutual funds there. The manager was able to sell me funds, but she didn’t know exactly how to do it. Luckily, she didn’t send me to another office or ask me to come some other time. The manager couldn’t call the main office to consult, because it had closed at 5 p.m. She used her cell phone to call someone, and then called somebody else. She was the only manager in the office. A man lined up after me and stared at me intensely, wondering why I took so much time. I think I spent there more than half an hour, nearing an hour. But when I came out of the office and breathed in frosty air, I felt a surge of excitement and pride.
It seems incredible that a whole year has passed, and my first investment has grown by 27.92%. Now, looking back, I laugh at myself. Buying funds is not a big deal anymore. It’s now a simple operation like depositing money in a savings account. I’ve even learned to do it online. Now I feel I can be more open about my investments in real life, because I’ve grown more confident about them. I’ve gotten a lot of experience and knowledge during this year.