Finances & Money

Celebrate my first stock purchase with a…UH OH!

As much as I don’t want to make this public, it’ll probably make for a chuckle. I got some help from Blain to understand Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), and what’s available regarding renewable and alternative energy. One of the ETFs he recommended (as much as he could) was PBW (Powershares Wilderhill Clean Energy Fund), and it appeared to be just what I wanted.

So I pop over to eTrade where I have my Roth IRA. Mind you, I’ve only ever purchased mutual funds, so I don’t know the “ins-and-outs” of buying stocks. I went through the interface and plugged in the ticker symbol. I bought 80 shares at $17.97 each (with a stinkin $12.99 commission!).

But I bought 80 shares of PWB, not PBW!!!

I wondered why the stock was $3 lower than when I looked yesterday, but I figured now was just the time to buy, so I did. I got 80 shares of PowerShares Dynamic Lg.Cap Growth ETF instead.

Luckily, PWB is an ETF that tracks very well known “large and giant” companies. It could have been much worse as I could have bought stock in Potties & Wash Boards Inc., had they existed and been publicly traded. I guess it’s not a total loss, and I still have room for another $500 contribution to our fund this year. I’ll have $800 to buy PBW when I max out the Roth sometime in the future.

Yet another stupid thing I’ve done out of laziness.

About the author

Clever Dude


  • If you never intended to buy PBW, then sell it and buy PWB. Don’t keep hanging on to it unless you decided the ETF you bought instead was really a better choice in the first place.

    Don’t let the sunk cost affect your decision.

    You made the right decision by getting into the stock market. Good luck with your trading!

  • Agree with MoneyNing… sell and buy PBW if that is what you really wanted unless you have a good reason.

    Actually, I wouldn’t own -any- PowerShares ETF. The expense ratio is very, very high for an ‘index’ fund. 0.50% of assets. It has a 73% turnover ratio (tax inefficient) because it remakes itself every quarter. This also adds transaction costs.

    Compare that to Vanguard Growth ETF (VUG) with an expense ratio of 0.11%; which is 78% less than the other. VUG’s turnover ratio is only 23% as well.

    Just my 2 cents. Expenses are your biggest enemy. ETFs help fight that, but the one you chose has one of the highest expense ratios for the ETF industry.

Leave a Comment