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Friday, October 07, 2005


In a previous post, I mentioned my goal of purchasing ten shares of each company I found interesting, and in fact, my very first investment was ten shares of Sears. With few exceptions, ten shares of any company held a short time would make no man rich, but keep in mind this was just a start, with the cash I had at my disposal. The getting rich part would have to come later.

The first exception of the ten share goal was Eastman Kodak. (For those born after the 70s, that's what Kodak was called.) When I found myself interested in Kodak, their shares were over $50 each, and a $500 investment was more than I wanted to pay. Wanting to stick to my goals of paying about $200-300 for each company, I decided on only five shares of Kodak.

What was special about Kodak?

First of all, Kodak was a big part of my life at that time. After graduating from college, I had become a photographer, (in fact, that's how I met my wife-to-be,) and so Kodak Film was a regular weekly purchase back then.

But my decision to invest in Eastman Kodak in the mid to late 80s was based more on where the company seemed to be going at the time. Already more than 100 years old, Kodak was getting into more high technology ventures beyond the photographic film for which they had been known.

During the 80s Kodak introduced their disc photography line, and they joined the video market by manufacturing videocassettes in 8mm, Beta, and VHS. They even made computer diskettes and lithium batteries at that time.

Given the company's heritage, and their advancements towards the 21st century, I figured Eastman Kodak was a keeper. I anticipated lots of growth opportunity for this classic company, so in the Fall of '87 I became a proud shareholder in the Eastman Kodak Company with five shares under my belt.

Now it was just a matter of sitting back, watching, and waiting to see what developed.

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