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Why did you invest in Tesla?

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by nursebee, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. nursebee

    nursebee Member

    May 21, 2013
    First off, I know many more eyeballs will see this than answer it. Thank you in advance for replying to this here or by private message or email.

    Tesla is my first overwhelming success in individual stock picking. I've owned some great companies before but sold them after short bursts. I try and identify companies in a new arena with potential for exponential growth that have strong leadership that executes well (using a lot of Kobrick's BASM to guide me). I danced in and out of Tesla for a while but have held since pre $40. I am amazed to read here of those that bought prior to $30 and have held for longer.

    There is another recent thread asking for what other tech companies others follow, I view this as asking for a fish. I don't want that, I want to catch my own and want to learn from those that have done so. Help me learn to fish.

    So please share with me why you invested in Tesla. What is your investing story? Have you identified leaders like this before and how? What advice in this area would you offer a loved one. Please expand on this as desired.

    And again, thank you.
    at google mail service dot com I am 4nursebee
  2. c041v

    c041v Member

    Jan 7, 2013
    Edmonton, AB
    I wish I could teach myself how to fish too. I'm a relative novice at investing, had some success in the past, but minor compared to TSLA. I mostly stick to industries I know, and just try to do a ton of research. I wish I had something more to offer in terms of companies to watch out for, I feel like getting in on the SCTY IPO would've been a great move if I had the wherewithal at the time to do it. Like others have mentioned though, TSLA is being heralded as a fairly rare phenomenon, I'm not sure how many more companies like this are waiting in the wings.

    I initially got into Tesla after finding this board (Which, come to think of it, I believe was actually via M5board!?) back in Sept 2012. I started following the company closer, although I'd been a fan of the Roadster for quite some time. I managed to convince my S/O to head down to Bellevue for a test drive over Xmas and after that, I was totally completely sold that this company was going to change the world. I wish I could better describe the feeling of getting back into my ICE after that test drive, utter disappointment comes close. I doubled my position that night and like you, have danced a bit, but my ACB is far below today's price.

    I've tried to convince loved ones and friends about the company from the moment I got engaged. It's been a disappointing response, most of the complaints are that it's too risky, and more recently, too expensive. I've tried to indicate how Tesla is challenging the status quo with initiatives well beyond a cool car. Supercharging, CES, Direct to Customer sales, etc but alas, nobody's joined me on the adventure yet.
  3. roblab

    roblab Active Member

    Jul 15, 2008
    Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
    I have read that psychological studies show that 70% of the population is unable to understand or visualize something they have not previously seen. When YOU see the future of Tesla, remember, most others cannot see it. It's a gift.
  4. toastypasta

    toastypasta Member

    May 8, 2013
    New York, New York, United States
    #1. I'm a big fan of making money.
    #2. Elon Musk is the ****in man. (curse required)
  5. al_chumley

    al_chumley Member

    Aug 28, 2012
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I got in numerous times around $27 - $35. For me, this was almost a no-brainer, but I normally don't invest in companies that don't make a profit (Tesla didn't at the time), so that was my biggest hurdle, along with filtering out all the noise and FUD. I was too chicken to get in at the IPO, but I quickly looked for opportunities soon after.

    Rarely do you see a company with such a complete commitment to a vision, far superior products, a CEO who is an absolute perfectionist and 100% behind the company, and a crazed fanbase (myself included). Crazed fanbases are actually my number one filter in finding great companies.
  6. gaswalla

    gaswalla P4201/85/airsusp/pano/19i

    Sep 23, 2012
    San Diego
    yep, that summarizes it for me
  7. erha

    erha Member

    May 24, 2012
    Oslo, Norway
    My first stock ever and I couldn't be luckier. I thought I'd never even own a stock, and I thought stock traders had the most useless job ever. (It has changed. Now I only dislike short term traders who make tons of money without adding any value or helping any company out). I had just briefly heard about tesla and thought it was really cool. I understood that their technology was superior and I really liked the design of the model s. A friend in high school thought me a lot about stocks and I started looking up companies to learn more. He convinced me to put a small amount in a company and told me: "don't invest with your heart, and don't get emotionally bonded to a company". That's exactly what I did, haha.

    He invested in BMW (he still does) and I said I'd much rather invest in tesla, so I did. (He also told me that if I were going to invest in a green company I'd rather wait for fiskar to IPO.) From there on it's just been a roller coaster. I've spent much time reading on this forum and it kind of makes me feel like an insider. Some people on here are weeks, months and years in front of the analysts on the street. This made me go all in with pretty much all my savings. I'm only 20 years old, and my savings wouldn't be much when I finish my studies, but if tesla continues on this run until 2017 I'll get the best start ever after college with my 300 shares. So grateful for all the intelligent people on this forum who shares their knowledge.

    I'd like to add a small thought I've had regarding long or short term trading. I traded a little bit when the stock was in the thirties, but when I was out I immediately got worried that the stock would rise. I followed the advice of citizen and only traded with a small portion of my shares. It didn't really work. I did manage to add a couple of shares to my position, but a rise in the price while I wasn't completely invested would wipe out all my gains. After reading about taleb distribution I realized that is exactly what short term trading is. While the stock traded in the thirties you would almost be guaranteed a small profit if you sold close to 40 and bought close to 30. But there is a small probability that you will miss out on the big run, and that is exactly what has happened to a lot of people here. I've concluded that short term trading is pretty similar as using the Martingale betting system. It might not be completely comparable, but I think it has some striking similarities.
  8. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

    Sep 11, 2012
    Burlington, Vermont
    #8 ToddRLockwood, Jul 11, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2013
    In October of 2012, one of my Ferrari buddies, after receiving my fifth email extolling the virtues of the Model S (even though I hadn't actually taken delivery yet), suggested that I put my money where my mouth is and buy some stock in Tesla. So I did. In November I bought more shares, and more again in December. The naysayers and shorts were in full swing at that point, especially when Tesla downgraded its hypothetical goal of 5,000 cars by year-end. The I-told-you-so crowd came out in full force after the infamous NY Times article, but I was already sold. In the long run, I thought, all of this attention—even the negative—will benefit Tesla.

    The three things that convinced me of Tesla's long term success are:

    • Visiting a Tesla store and seeing both the product and the way the company presented itself.

    • Watching an interview with Elon Musk, a man with few equals in manufacturing. I'm a pretty good judge of character, and Elon strikes me as honest and forthright, not to mention brilliant. This comes through very clearly in his recent TED interview. He is a man on a mission, which is to say that he's guided by more than just financial gain. The fact that he has a huge financial interest in the company bodes well too. I doubt if he spends much time contemplating his exit strategy.

    • Driving the Model S sealed the deal for me. By that point, I'd become pretty familiar with the car, but actually feeling the blend of power, handling and ride made it clear to me that this is where cars are headed.
  9. SigS905

    SigS905 Sig S 905 + X 5

    May 9, 2012
    FV, CA
    I bought 1500 shares on the second day after IPO. Paid a little more than I wanted, but plan on holding for a long time. Won't bail out early like I did on Apple (bought at $14, doubled shares, sold at $85). My investment and car are paid for in full with the current pricing:rolleyes: Wife bought some at $56 and has more than doubled her money in just a few months.
  10. gregincal

    gregincal Active Member

    Oct 26, 2012
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Almost all my money is in ETFs or mutual funds, and I'm very selective about individual stocks I buy. In general they are companies that make something I'm familiar with, and I feel has growth potential. Since I'm in the computer field that tends to be tech companies. The only individual companies I've invested in over the last 15 years are Adobe, Apple, Google, Whole Foods and Tesla. All have done well for me. In the case of Tesla I invested as soon as I test drove the car and ordered one. Basically if they haven't yet dominated a market, but I feel they have a product that I really love and I feel other people will like when they are exposed to it, I buy. Generally I'm a buy and hold kind of guy, so I still own all of the above mentioned stocks.
  11. Vger

    Vger Active Member

    Apr 10, 2009
    Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada
    I built a company myself, and when I first walked into that original little shop where the first Roadsters were tested, I could smell the possibilities.

    We were offered the chance to invest in the IPO at $17, as early Roadster owners, and scrounged up all the cash we could to buy in. We had originally considered flipping some, but then I got this very strong feeling that this was going to be one of those rare opportunities for a 10x return. I stand by that prediction, though that takes a lot less imagination now than it did then.

    Why did I invest? Not just to make money. I believe passionately that EV's are the (near) future of personal transportation. I believe that climate change is the greatest threat to humanity ever. I believe that Elon is one of the most visionary and confident businesspeople in history, and that he has hired a dream team of lieutenants around himself.

    I believe this is all just getting started.
  12. Mitthrawnuruodo

    Jun 10, 2013
    Thanks for making this thread! I have kind of wanted to share my story here.

    I first bought in October 2012, when I was a 22 year old undergraduate. My major is accounting so I knew business but more importantly I have loved cars and technology since I was probably 3. My knowledge in those areas honestly led me to buy more than anything else. I knew about Musk since he funded the X Prize one year. He was obviously a great CEO. I realized the cars would sell like mad and found out about the Nummi Plant and the story of the electric Smart car. Using my schools database I found his 2006 blog post "The Tesla Master Plan" I bought in the next day.

    Tesla is my first stock, I had to make a brokerage account and learn all the in's and outs, obviously due to my major it was pretty easy picking it up. Pulling the trigger with my hard earned cash was a pretty hard thing to do. I still lived at home at the time and was getting married in December. I started with $1,000 and I ended up with 200 shares at about $33 average. After the short squeeze, I had tons of money and confidence and I realized to take full advantage of Tesla I should have traded options. If I had started that last year I would own a house and a Model S by now and my wife would be able to quit work forever (seriously though, that's a fact.) So I started trading options in Tesla with mixed success. The last two weeks I am noticeably up - I learned I could not time Tesla after all the catalysts/tweets/announcements so I bought lots of Jan 14 Leaps and those are doing great. Actually at this point I think I have made most my profits in Solar City options, but that was just through dumb luck.

    So for my first year trading stocks and first year out of college (and living in a 770 square foot apartment) I think tripling my portfolio isn't bad. Thanks Elon, it couldn't have been easier, and as I tell my friends I will definitely buy a Model X once I live in a residence that actually has a garage!! :)
  13. joefee

    joefee 3M+ page views on TMC Threads

    May 29, 2011
    #13 joefee, Jul 11, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2013
    I put my deposit down in the 1st month reservations were offered (P469) and then upgraded to a Sig Performance. During that time (it seems like light years ago, now) the Model S was a “concept car” so I did a lot of research on Tesla/Musk to feel comfortable spending 120K on the car (w/tax before rebates). During the long years waiting I decided to trade the stock to help pay for the car….but thought it was crazy to do both. I attended every company event, factory tour, and eventually test drove the P85 during “Get Amped.” At the Tesla Fashion Island Signature Weekend in SoCal they had the first P85 on display—Pearl White, Dark 22” rims, CF trim….that sealed the deal and I ordered that configuration and decided to "buy the car and keep the stock" (that is when I knew I had a severe case of TDS—Tesla Derangement Syndrome). If my kids did that I would have lectured them as much as my wife lectured me at the time….every one is smiling now——Tesla Grin :)

    P.S. I had a nice talk with George B that day and found out he was getting the same configuration w/chrome wheels. That’s me in the red shirt (at the rear) admiring my future "dream car” see below. Since then I’ve traded enough shares to pay for the car and still maintain a core position in the stock. While the company is much stronger then it was then…I still would advise not hold more stock then you can afford taking a 30-50% haircut on. What a wild ride it is/was (the car and the stock).

    LOL….do what I say not what I did….Good Luck!

    Photos Videos | Tesla Motors


    Tesla Fashion Island - May 4, 2012 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
  14. dmckinstry

    dmckinstry Model S - U.S. P - #1649

    Jul 9, 2011
    Medical Lake, WA (near Spokane)
    I've been wanting a Model S for over three years. About two years ago I realized I wouldn't be able to get the money together to purchase the options I wanted outright. So I started putting my money in TSLA. I definitely believe in what Tesla is trying to accomplish, so I figured I wanted to show my support. The worst that could have happened is that I would lose all my investment and not be able to afford a Model S. The best would be that I would get my Model S and still have a fair amount (for me) of the stock as well.

    Well, my faith was justified. I have my Model S, and my remaining stock is worth twice the total I'd invested in the first place. Of course, my purchases of TSLA have been spaced out over a period of more than two years.

    TSLA is the first stock I've personally purchased, and not just a part of my portfolio.
  15. Jackl1956

    Jackl1956 Active Member

    May 11, 2013
    Los Angeles
    I have grandchildren.
  16. herbvdh

    herbvdh Member

    Jan 31, 2010
    I first heard of Tesla on the Club Lexus board years back. I drive a 2006 RX400h. I did further investigation found out it was all electric. I originally looked to go electric in the 1980's when VW came out with one. Always held an interest so I went for a Roadster test drive but the price was just too much for me; but inquired on the Model S and got no answers. When they IPO'd I immediately looked to buy. Back in April the stock took a beating I placed a sell of 50 shares at 40 took it and ran by noon hour it was getting beat worse so I immediately dumped 50 more. So I got about 40 a share. Then I started to buy Solar City and am holding that and I still got 100 of TSLA. My big regret is not preordering the 40KwH Model S. So now I said tough I am going for a 85 when I get the $20,000 extra to do it or get the X. YEs I almost did get a Roadster from a local Lexus dealer but it went to a good home to a Member here.
  17. haid

    haid Member

    Feb 14, 2013
    Reston, VA
    People tell me I am crazy, but I only invest in one stock. I watch that one stock closely, but I don't day trade. I am a buy and hold guy. I invest with my retirement 401K, as I am a paycheck to paycheck software developer and I don't have old money. And I only invest if I have a thesis that I believe could change the tables in some way.

    I bought Apple. The thesis was that folks who like the iPod will tend to buy Apple computers, the so-called "halo effect". At the time Apple computers had about 2% market share. Apple went up and down, and ultimately way up. I don't think the "halo effect" really had that much influence as the iPod, iPhone and iPad were what made Apple truly exceptional (so maybe that was dumb luck).

    At some point, someone compared Apple to Tesla. The more I looked at it, the more I liked what I saw. So at $310 I sold Apple and bought Tesla about a month after IPO at $23. I was worried that Apple couldn't keep up the pace of innovation. (It later went up to $700ish, so maybe I sold too early, ce la vie).

    My thesis for Tesla was and is, "Battery tech is improving 8% per year. The most expensive component in the car is the battery. Improvements mean they can produce the same charge with fewer cells. So in 2 years = 15% cheaper, 3 years = 25% cheaper, etc." So if Tesla could just eek out a profit, it would pass an inflection point that could change everything.

    All said and done I have multiplied my retirement by about 25 in about 10 years. The brokerage guys shake their heads but they can't argue with my success so far.
  18. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29, M3P 80k

    Mar 24, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Funnily enough I was just thinking about this myself the other day. Please forgive the rambling narrative.

    I had vaguely heard of Tesla in about 2007, and one weekend my wife was away visiting relatives and I saw an article about them opening a showroom in Santa Monica. (We were/are in San Diego.) It's about a 150 mile drive, but I liked driving, had a nice Mercedes, thought "why not", and bopped up to see one. It looked cute, and looked like the way of the future, so I decided to try to talk Pat into going back up for a test drive. A few weeks later we went back up, and came back from the drive just grinning at each other and saying "It's incredibly impractical!" (which in some sense it was). The next day I sent them a deposit, since I never do any major purchase on the same day.

    So, points number 1 and 2: I liked the product and I liked the sales person and process (thanks Jeremy).

    But here's the real kicker. About a year later, they were way behind schedule, losing money, and we got an email basically saying that Elon wanted to have a town hall meeting with the LA area reservation holders at the Santa Monica store. (This is the old one near the 405, not the new fancy one.) There he broke the news that the price was going up, some of the things we had been promised were going to be expensive optional extras, and he would understand if we wanted our deposits back, but he hoped we would believe in Tesla. They had coffee, sodas, and carrot sticks.

    Point number 3: I've had experience with a person like this before. He's Irwin Jacobs, founder of Qualcomm. It's not charisma, like some politicians have. It's the simultaneous realization that (a) he knows what he's doing, and (b) he's trying really hard, and (c) you might not like the answer but it isn't bull. It's hard to explain without sounding sycophantic, and I have known a few billionaires now, and there is at least one that I would never invest in, but Elon and the tiny team he's already built impressed me.

    So, a year or so later, we got our Roadster (and the Mercedes fell into disuse...). There were hiccups in the process, and some early teething problems. We lost faith for a while but Tesla earned it back.

    Roadster owners got to be "friends and family" in the IPO, and I knew that if my money helped to build the Tesla vision, I was in... even if I eventually lost it. Instead, it worked out, but that's a bonus.
  19. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

    Nov 29, 2012
    Batesville, IN
    Purely emotional on my part. We pay people to manage our portfolio. Always have. I just don't have an aptitude and am lazy. I almost never buy a stock that I think I should buy without advice. When I have over the years, I've lost money. When Tesla went public I asked our "people" and all they said was: "No, why would you do that." They had a very limited understanding of my passion for EV's, or for Tesla. I spend almost no time thinking about the stock market, or our portfolio. I couldn't stop thinking about Tesla. I bought 10,000 shares over a period of time but the average price was in the 20's. Our advisers thought I was nuts. Now they just think I was nuts, and lucky. They want us to substantially "trim" the position but I don't see any reason to.

    I just listened to my heart and it worked out. I'm very conservative with investments and normally don't do this, or even put in my 2 cents at our money meetings. I'm not sure the blind squirrel getting a nut is a good analogy (though I'm definitely a blind squirrel in this area) but that's what happened just this once. I just believe in the product and the company.
  20. Words of HABIT

    Jan 19, 2013
    Investing for 20 years. After 5 years of mutual funds (paying other people to manage my money, gladly charging fees even if providing negative returns) I had enough. Last 15 years I have done my own research and have picked select few individual stocks. Who best to invest your own money than you. You only have yourself to blame or credit which is the way it should be.
    Leaders: Nortel Networks 300%, Apple 300%, RIM (Blackberry) 300%.
    Losers: Many, only just recently had my portfolio above my '06 high (seven year wait)
    There is a time for every stock (Nortel lost $238B and went Bankrupt, Blackberry is down 94% from it's $150/SP, Apple is down 40% and may never see $700 again) The time for Tesla is now. But don't believe me. Do your own research from a wide variety of sources, don't invest what you can't afford to lose, enjoy life and sleep well.
    Advise: Stay away from penny stocks. Know what you are investing in. Truly Believe in what you are investing in. If your investing is losing you sleep and affecting your health, no amount of money is worth that. Buy and hold long term strategy. Stay away from the stock ticker, daily fluctuations are pointless.

    Why Tesla: To me, it just makes sense in every way shape and form, a "Eureka" moment. Of course, no if ands or buts. No more gas, looks awesome, no more dealers, looks awesome, best performance, North American made, looks awesome, seasoned CEO, no more unions, battery technology improving. How can Tesla's first car from the ground up beat every other car the big auto industry has ever made. This speaks volumes. The mass produced EV will be revolutionary and I believe Tesla will play a significant part, one of many, in this revolution. EVs are the future and the amount of change will be enormous affecting the economy. Gas producers and their infrastructure, car engine repair shops (specialty lube, brake and muffler), dealerships, hundreds of thousands of jobs will need to be transferred to other sectors of the economy. Change is good. But there are many who wish Tesla to fail, their livelihoods are at risk. This is an epic battle in a trillion dollar industry. But it will take time, years. I was lucky to invest in Tesla at $29 in October '12 and will hold for many years. When I invested in Nortel, Blackberry and Apple, I was very late in the game. I feel I am getting in very early with Tesla (think Apple in '04). I know this because most of my friends have never heard of Tesla.

    When I was a teenager several friends of mine drove self modified mustangs and the like...I drove my Mom's '83 Datsun Sentra. I was never a car guy. Now all I do is talk about cars and I feel like I am living my teenage years over again. How cool is that! This may sound unreal, but I have already picked out my Model X '14 that I will purchase in '18 after a four year lease, direct from Tesla. I have planned five years in advance on my three previous vehicles and it came true every time down to the colour of the paint and options. I can see the Model X already in my driveway, for me it is already there, just need to wait five years. It is called delayed gratification, and it works.

    Thanks for reading my ramble. Final note, if you have not already seen the following, they are good watches.
    Search Google for full length film documentaries "Who Killed the Electric Car" and the sequel, "The Revenge of the Electric Car".
    Enjoy and God Bless.

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