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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Tesla Gave Me a Model 3

Tesla has given me money directly and I have made money by investing in them. Now I am giving all of this back to them in exchange for a Model 3.

$1000 Reservation Deposit

When Tesla launched the Powerwall in 2015, I watched the reveal like many others. At the end of the presentation a screen popped up and asked if I wanted to sign up for more information about the Powerwall. Yes, yes I did. After the name, email address, etc., there was a little checkbox that asked if I was interested in solar energy. If you've read this blog much, you'll know that solar is one of my interests, so, of course, I checked the box.

Soon I was contacted by Tesla and they asked if I was interested in talking to someone from SolarCity about solar and potentially a Powerwall. I agreed. Long story short, we had an 8.3 kW solar array installed (but no Powerwall). Soon after the installation was complete, a check from Tesla showed up. It was for $1000. Alright, I didn't even know that was part of the deal. It was a nice surprise.

Six months later, when Tesla announced the Model 3, I gave Tesla $1000 as a reservation deposit. This was the same amount Tesla had given me.

Buying A Tesla Model 3

In 2010, Tesla Motors IPOed. They started trading stock in their company on the public market. I had seen and even test driven the Roadster. It was an incredible machine. It was a reinvention of driving. I was amazed at how responsive it was. I would just think of accelerating and we were moving. I swear I had not even moved my foot yet. The same was true with the tight sports car steering.

So when they IPOed, I read the "Secret Master Plan" and several of their whitepapers on energy efficiency. I didn't know if they were going to be the next in a long sting of EV car companies that would go bankrupt, or if they were going to be the game changing company. But I did know, there would be no middle ground and I was going to buy at least a few shares. I bought a few shares on June 29th, 2010 for $17.84 per share and I started watching the stock. It was slowly going up. On July 6th I bought more. This time at $18 per share. The next day the price dropped some to $16.01. I decided this was a bargain price and I bought my final lot.

Then I sat back and promptly ignored the stock. That's right. I stopped watching it all together. I didn't buy much. Each of these purchases were very small. If the stock went to zero. I had a tax write-off. And I knew that was a real possibility. I bought only enough that I would not worry about it. Individual stock like this, can be very volatile. One news article or car fire and the stock makes huge moves. I didn't want to be on that emotional rollercoaster that causes the wrong move. This is one of the rare cases where ignorance can out performance diligent mindfulness.

Now I am looking at the stock again. And to be fair, I did peek at it now and then. As I write this, the stock is at $265 per share. That is up 1,400% from where I purchased it in 2010. It's nearly enough to pay for my Model 3. I wish I had bought more, I might get a Model X too :)