“Let’s see… There it is. Still.”
I found the icon of the Home Trading System (HTS) for stocks in the corner of the computer. I clicked it twice. Then a message came out.
[This is the old version. Please download the new program.]
So it was. It was natural since it had not been used for many years. I followed the message’s instructions, downloaded the new program, and looked back for a while.
‘It’s been… three years or four years since I turned on the HTS?’
The first time I became interested in stocks was when I was a sergeant after my short discharge. I took a book from the unit library, one of which was stock-related. Ordinary people described stocks as “a shortcut to ruin oneself,” but the author who had written the book had a different view, though it would be natural to sell books.
‘… stocks are a game of predicting the future, after all. In the future, as a company increases sales and expands its business, stock prices are naturally expected to rise… Some say it’s a gamble to test luck, but that’s not true. Stocks contain gambling elements, but that’s not a big part. In the long run, stocks are a game in which the wise win.’
And when I had seen it, I had been thinking about doing it. ‘The game of predicting the future… It’s a game where the wise win… Shall I try it?’
After leaving the army, until I went back to school, I took advantage of that time to earn money in a part-time job. Then, I saved one thousand dollars until returning to school. I jumped into the stock market with it. And I soon realized, the person who led me down the path of the stock market said the stock was not gambling, but it was gambling. It was a nationally-run legal gambling.
‘No wise man can predict the future perfectly… It’s a gamble. It’s a gamble where the nation is the casino owner… It’s only different that instead of a dealer, the nation is taxing it.’
‘The key to gambling is fun. Is there anything else in the world as interesting as gambling?’
The days when I lost hundreds of dollars were so depressing that I could not taste anything, but on the days when I earned, I was so happy. I used to enjoy other games, but since I started stock trading, I did not look at other games.
After that, I went to school and had a hard time in stocks. I bought a stock that was skyrocketing, and I hit the upper limit price. Without analyzing, I bought a stock and I hit the low limit price. I bought some scamming stocks and rode roller coasters; I bought some blue-chip stocks and held them for a while.
Like that, a year had passed. Only eleven thousand dollars was left in my account. I made a profit of ten percent. It was not a bad grade for a beginner, but it was not even good enough. It was because the KOSPI and KOSDAQ market yield was only about ten percent that year.
‘I worked hard, but… It was like having a monkey pick out any kind of stock…’
The results were a little disappointing, but there was still something to be gained. It was because I came to understand what capitalism was, and I could taste people’s desires, fears, hopes, and despair. Above all, stocks were interesting. Having enjoyed playing games and tasted ten percent profits, it was a very successful game.
‘I would like to do more…’
But just for a year, I cut off my stock trading there. Because I had to go through my senior year in the university, and I had to start preparing for a job.
“That was already… four years ago… Time flies fast…”
While I was reminiscing about the past, the new HTS installation was completed on the computer. I double-clicked it and got into it. As HTS was a new version, its interface changed a lot. Nevertheless, there was something that didn’t change, and the setting I had touched myself, like a list of “Watchlist,” remained the same.
‘Let’s see… How are they?’
I looked around the list.
LC Electronics $106
PJY Entertainment $21
Samsung Products $114
Kamgkeum Steel $4
Europhian TV $29
The stocks in the watchlist were the ones I had traded. I searched my memory one by one from the top.
First of all, LC Electronics was one of South Korea’s two major home appliance companies. I bought it on the recommendation of a stock company, but it was not good. The home appliances such as washing machines, TVs and air conditioners were world-class, but the recent intrusion by Chinese companies seemed to have reflected a little bit in the stock price.
The second stock was Comtubile. It was an unforgettable stock for me. Comtubile was a mobile game maker, and its share price skyrocketed with the game “Summoners Battle,” which was released at that time. I was interested in games, and I also tried the game and invested in the stock because it was fun. I remembered making twice as much money on an investment of three hundred dollars. Actually, it was an ace of the stocks I had bought.
The third stock was Andromeda Games, whose stock price also rose by releasing mobile games. In synergy with the big gains of Comtubile, I bought it in anticipation of a rise in stock price like Comtubile. I remembered that I had lost a bit of money when the game went out. Worse yet, Andromeda Games did not have the stock price anymore.
‘What is it? Is it a bug?’
Even if I double-clicked, nothing came out.
‘What’s wrong with the new HTS? Maybe…’
It wasn’t until I searched the search box for Andromeda Games that I found out why.
[Andromeda Games has accumulated losses for four consecutive years. Audit – adverse opinion.]
[Andromeda Games’ delisting results… They are going to delist it from the KOSDAQ.]
[Andromeda, a mid-size game company, disappeared into the mists of history.]
Andromeda Games was delisted after making losses four years in a row.
‘After four years, there’s something special going on.’
What was even more surprising was the next stock, PJY Entertainment.
‘Wow, $21? This is, then… I think it cost about $5.’
I looked up the chart. I remembered it correctly. PJY Entertainment’s stock price, which was around $5 four years ago, rose every day for nearly two years and hit $21.
‘What’s going on? What happened?’
I looked for the article.
[Double-up Girls also had a big hit on this single album.]
[With the crucial roles of Japanese members, Double-up Girls is ranked first on the Oricon Chart.]
[Collaboration with PJY and the Double-up Girls.]
Double-up Girls was a girl group I knew.
‘Oh, Double-Up Girls is a girl group of PJY Entertainment.’
It had been around three years since its debut. The Double-up Girls, a multinational girl group made up of members from Korea, Japan and Taiwan, recently made inroads into Japan and was enjoying a good share price.
‘Ah, if I had known Double-Up Girls was part of this company, I would have bought it, too…’
I touched my appetite by moving my mouse cursor. But suddenly, I remembered the phrase that was written in the stock book that I had first read. ‘Stock is a game of predicting the future, after all.’
That thought made me smile.
‘The future, there is no need to predict. The future is in my hands.’
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