says that two rides in the Model S are all it takes to be convinced that CEO
Elon Musk and his executive team know what they are doing.
"As soon as I could buy stock, I bought stock," said Stelling, who got in close to the IPO price, which was $17 in June 2010. "My brother-in-law is still convinced they are going to fold. My money manager thinks I am crazy. He says we should diversify, but I'm not going to do that. I've made $250,000 on this. My car is paid for. Of course you haven't really earned anything until you sell, but I'm holding on. The stock may go over $200 this year."
Another Tesla bull is Jonathan Jivan, an Iraq War veteran who lives in a suburb of Akron, Ohio. He describes his lifestyle as modest: He works as a videographer at Kent State University and drives a 10-year-old Nissan Altima.
But Jivan purchased $2,500 worth of stock in Tesla Motors in April 2011, when it was trading around $25 a share. In January of this year, when it was trading in the $30 range, he invested another $5,000. Now Jivan has seen his original investment balloon to more than $100,000.
"I just had a hunch that electric cars would be the future," said Jivan, 30, who spends countless hours researching Tesla. "Back in January, I knew Tesla's stock was going to go up because they were saying they were going to become profitable. When companies become profitable, the stock always explodes. That's the point where people realized that Tesla actually knows what it's doing."
His biggest splurge so far: a new LCD television.
"I've made twice my yearly salary in six months," Jivan said. "My wife doesn't even know how much money we have."
Kevin Weng, 40, a software architect who works in Palo Alto and owns a Model S, invested a significant chunk of his self-directed retirement account in Tesla when it was trading at $35 a share in March and now is a member of the Teslanaire club.
"I spend a couple of hours a day researching the company," Weng said. "Sometimes I get up at 4 or 5 a.m. just to read about the company and then think about how I want to manage the trading that day."
Bob Gotchall wanted to buy a Model S but couldn't justify the cost to his wife. So he figured that if he invested $50,000 in the stock and doubled his money, he could then afford to buy the car.
"I figured if the car was a good buy, the stock was an even better buy," said Gotchall, 40, of Austin, Texas. As the stock began to rise, Gotchall started adding more and more Tesla options to his portfolio. "I started to have days where my balance would go up by $10,000. I sold and bought, panicked and re-bought and watched a ticker way too much during the day."
Gotchall recently had to come clean with his wife.
"I said, 'I don't want to alarm you, but we have hundreds of thousands of dollars more than we did last week,' " he told her in May, after Tesla reported its first quarterly profit in 10 years.
Gotchall, who on some days now is a Teslanaire, said the good days for Tesla are far from over.
"The stock is still totally cheap," he said. "It's a growth stock. Buy the stock in a retirement account and just let it go."
(c)2013 San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)
Visit the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.) at www.mercurynews.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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