On October 31st, 2014, I retired. Turned in the keys to the company car, gave them my computer and my account lists and joined the ranks of those who "slipped off into the sunset." I never thought in retirement that I would be this busy. It's fun. Time with the grandkids, time to perfect my cooking skills, and time to travel and check off the things on my bucket list. I should have done this a long time ago.
American expatriate currently living and working in the Zhejiang province of China as an engineer in the nuclear power industry.
I have worked with industrial controls and factory automation for much of my career. I happened to get interested in Linux and open source back in 1992 with kernel 0.96. When vendors later started shifting to embedded Linux systems, I was accidentally 'in the right place at the right time'. At various times I have worked as a software engineer and a networking support engineer as well as industrial controls. In 2007, one of my sons and I started a web services infrastructure business. Our business was based upon delivering open source based solutions delivered on virtual Ubuntu servers in the Amazon Web Services cloud. We were a 100% open source shop.
I have worked in Brazil, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands and lots of other places.
Since I have several years on assignment in China, I decided to try and get a feel for the country. So, I spend much of my free time exploring small town China, not the few major cities like Shanghai and Beijing. I like to wander into grocery stores, dry goods stores, and other small shops to see what stuff is for sale...and who made it. I like to talk with locals about their businesses. I talk to farmers, fishermen, people selling vegetables and meat in the markets, and restaurant owners. I ask the locals what they think about various topics to try and get a feel for their world. Let me tell you, it is very different in many, many ways.
I have not run into people or businesses that are trying to export a product internationally. Virtually everyone that I meet is working to produce goods or services for consumption here in China. Most people have never been out of China and many have never been out of their province. They remind me of growing up in small town Oklahoma. Often I get into really fascinating discussions. I find it interesting that there is such a large disparity between what American media has to say about China and what Chinese people think. My opinion is that the Chinese government and its concerns are just as far removed from the small town Chinese citizen as the American government is from the small town American citizen.
I have been investing and trading for many years. I have personally made just about every investing mistake possible. I probably invented a few dumb trading mistakes. These days I favor dividend growth, gold coins, and selling puts for my investment activities. I trade trends on dividend growth companies with a small portion of my capital. Most of my strategy is buy and hold dividend growers.
My picture is with a toddler friend I met in July 2012 at Shepan Dao. He was fascinated by my beard and spent quite a bit of time trying to pull it out. You can see that he is looking at my beard. Right after the picture he reached up and got another handful. He would not let any of the other laowai (foreigner) get near him. His mother said he liked me because I was fat and soft like a pillow. Ouch!
Invest, collect, reinvest and compound it.
Long-term investor, focused on businesses with a lot of moat around them. I've been investing since the age of 18. Love to learn new things and believe in taking little incremental steps in self-development every single day.
My investing prophets are Philip Fisher, Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffet and Charles T. Munger.