I have been a subscriber to Netflix since ‘time began’.

I started with their three DVD at a time plan so that I would ‘always’ have a fresh movie to watch. This gave me one at home, one in the mail going back and one on the way. Perfect.

Except for Sundays and holidays, the system was pretty good. Then it got even better. Free streaming, so you could watch unlimited streaming on your TV any old day or time.

This meant you could watch a new movie on Christmas day or the Fourth of July. Whee! (And with HBO and Showtime on Demand you were all set for a real movie marathon).

The selection wasn’t as complete as the DVD department, but good enough.

The company made money every single year. Their stock soared to $304 a share.

Then their CEO came up with a different plan. This one involved separating the DVD and the streaming into two different companies, with two different names and two different web sites.

There would be two separate charges for each of the divisions. This plan did not go over very well. Netflix lost 800,000 subscribers and their stock plummeted to $74.

(This means that if you had 100 shares of Netflix stock worth $30,000, you would now have $7400. Or, even worse, if  you had 1000 shares, were planning to buy a house and all of a sudden you only had $75,000).

The brilliant guy who came up with this plan managed to keep his job, but he was ‘punished’. Instead of getting a $3,000,000 stock option on top of his $500,000 salary, he only got $1.5 million. Boo hoo.

However with the stock at 75% off, he probably got more shares. And the stock will go back up. Eventually.

I am banking on this. I had thought of buying some Netflix stock when it plunged, but didn’t quite have the guts. My last great stock market idea was to buy Apple stock when it was $60 a share. I bravely bought 100 shares and gleefully watched as it rose to $80 a share. I decided that a $2000 profit was pretty good, so I sold it.

Then I sadly watched as it climbed and climbed. Now each share is $419 and I realize that my $6000 investment would now be worth over $40,000. Hindsight is always 20/20.

So yesterday I did it again. I bought 100 shares of Netflix at the opening price of $92.48. I then watched the market go up and down and up and down for a few hours. At one point it dipped to $90 and then back up to almost where I started.

Peter said I shouldn’t look at the stock price for a month. Very funny. I checked it about six times yesterday. And today it was up to $94 and back down to $93.50. Well, at least I am $100 ahead so far.

I have already promised myself that I won’t check my stock price as often as I check my bathroom scale. I weigh myself before and after breakfast. Usually once during the day and then again before I go to bed.

I know  you are only supposed to weigh yourself once a week. That doesn’t work for me. Actually, I can pretty much tell whether I am up or down by the way my jeans zip.

As for my big stock adventure, I have also promised myself I will not be content with a $2000 profit this time around. No, I am looking to double my money. Then we shall see.

To buy or sell stock when you live in Hawaii and your brokerage account is in New York is no easy task. At this time of the year there is a five hour time change, so that means you have to get up at four a.m. to place a buy or sell order. In April there will be a six hour time change.

I guess the stock brokers in Honolulu have to get up at three every morning in order to be ‘at work’ when the market opens. Now that there are computers with second by second reports, they can probably do a lot of business right from their home.

I remember in 1961, way before computers, our neighbor was a stockbroker here in Hawaii. He had to go to bed every night by eight, so he could get his seven hours of sleep before he went to work. We lived in Kailua, Oahu and it was not only before computers, it was before freeways.

The children of today can’t even comprehend life without computers or freeways, or iPhones or Netflix, or Bluetooth or microwave ovens.

These are all things which have come into my life after I was thirty years old. Computers came out in the eighties and by then I was over forty. Actually the iPhone, Netflix and Bluetooth, not till I was over 65.

And by the way, you can get instant stock quotes right on your iPhone. There’s an app for that.

And on your Mac there is a widget for that information. Just click the Dashboard icon’. My nickname is ‘Techno Granny’, but Peter set this one up for me. (Thank you, Peter).

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