3 Strategies a Software Engineer Uses to Build a $2 Million Portfolio

  • Software engineer Bardan Mainali knew the best way to grow his money was in the stock market.
  • He changed his lifestyle to save an initial investment of $100,000, then bought preferred stock.
  • In 2019, he researched a startup and bought Tesla for $70 a share. Today it is worth $1,000.
  • Read more stories from Personal Finance Insider.

Bardan Minali still remembers the nerves he felt the first time he invested his hard-earned money in the stock market. “I was a little hesitant,” he said, but he still knew the stock market was the path to long-term wealth. “That’s the way,” he told Insider. “I knew I had to start as soon as possible.”

Born in Nepal, Minali has always seen the United States as a potential place. After attending Louisiana Tech University, he graduated with an engineering degree and soon started working as a software engineer at a large technology company.

But investing wasn’t a normal part of Minali’s life until his company offered him shares as part of his compensation. After watching the value of his shares grow, he begins to realize the power the stock market holds and becomes determined to learn how he can use it to his advantage. After three strategic choices, he managed to get an initial investment of $100,000 and turn it into a portfolio worth about $2 million.

1. He made lifestyle changes to save his initial investment

“First thing first, we need money to invest,” Minali said. His goal was to save as much of his salary as possible – about 40% to 45% of his wages. To do this, he made specific changes to his lifestyle so that he could get rid of as much of his income as possible.

“The budget has helped me build healthy saving habits,” he told Insider. “I have budgeted all of my expenses.” He rarely dined out, didn’t sign up for any monthly services like Netflix, and even rented an apartment near his office to cut his commute costs. “I also didn’t rely on any credit cards and didn’t set savings goals,” he said.

He wasn’t fond of new technology or upgrades to things he already owned, using the same phone, laptop, and car he had in college. “It’s little things, but it helps a lot,” he explained.

When he did buy new merchandise, he was very deliberate about it, buying mostly generic merchandise rather than something brand-name.

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much you earn, it matters how much you save,” he said.

2. His first investment was in blue-chip stocks

In the end, his skilful saving and budgeting habits led to him hoarding around $30,000, ready to invest in the market. Wanting to get his toes wet before diving too deep, he researched a strategy that was low risk and could help him learn about the market as it went.

Although no investment is ever guaranteed, there are some options that are generally considered safer – including what Mainali chose to invest in: preferred stock. “I just wanted to play a safe game the first time,” he said.

Since these stocks are in companies that “made”, there is much less chance that they will collapse. He chose to invest in companies like Apple and Facebook, and put $30,000 into these types of stocks. “They have a solid background and a good foundation,” Minali told Insider.

However, since he was choosing a more manual approach and buying individual securities in certain companies – rather than investing, for example, in the index funds of ETFs – he made sure he understood the actual value and prestige of the companies he was choosing to invest. In them, even if they are already very prestigious.

Read and analyze financial reports for strong financial growth throughout the year, review their assets, liabilities, and equity. He said the companies had “a lot of capital, a lot of cash flow, and they were financially strong”.

3. Search for a leading company

For about a year and a half, Minali watched his investments grow, “You made a good profit [my first investments]”About $6000 or $7000,” he said.

While his stock value was increasing, he was still saving and thinking about ways he could get a greater return on his investment. He was looking for a big opportunity: something that would not only keep pace with the market, but actually beat it.

“My goal was to find a leading company that leverages technology in innovative sectors such as energy, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and others,” he said. My strategy was to invest in the future.

The idea was to find a company that takes advantage of new technology that investors believe will be heavily used in the near future. It was a strategy she learned through Cathy Wood and her five platforms for disruptive innovation.

And then, in 2019, he found Tesla. He returned to the company’s financial reports, particularly the “Management Discussion and Analysis” section of the annual report which helped him understand the company’s performance, risks, opportunities and objectives. This allowed him to see Tesla’s position in the auto and electric vehicle markets rather than just the stocks themselves.

“I saw a huge opportunity out there, and I felt like I built my biggest company,” he told Insider. Feeling confident in the company and its analysis, he invested $70,000.

Around this time — at the end of 2019 — Tesla shares were about $70 per share. Today, each share is worth about $1,000. Mainali isn’t the only person to have had huge success with the company, and he “plans to keep Tesla for at least 10 years,” he said. “Electric cars and clean energy markets are just opening up. Plus, I consider it closer to a technology or AI-driven company, so there’s a lot of room for growth.”

He has plans to continue building his portfolio and investing in real estate too

Since then, he’s sold off some shares of Apple, Google, and Facebook, and invested in other opportunities he’s found over the years, including cryptocurrency. In general, it is still looking for companies that are innovating, particularly in technology, and that are competitive in their industries. “I’m researching companies in fintech, genetics, and cryptocurrency, and I’m trading short-term gains here and there,” he told Insider. In addition to Tesla, he “has a good return with Snapchat, PayPal, Square; all the tech companies,” he said.

He is also interested in buying real estate. “My goal now is to save money for the real estate property, about $20,000 to $30,000, to make the down payment,” he explained. To do that, he still saves about 40% of his salary, noting that he waits for real estate prices to drop a bit more before pulling the trigger.

He is also an artist, with a recent interest in NFTs. In fact, his first work was inspired by Elon Musk. “It’s part of my next financial adventure.”

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