As a former broker at a Wall Street behemoth, it didn't take me long to realize that Wall Street analysis is not always correct. When it comes to economics, capital markets, and investments, my stance on some topics may be unusual and different than many analysts and investors, often leading me to contrarian views. My approach to investing and understanding economics employs a combination of formal training with informal common sense. While the next hot stock ideas and investing tips will come and go, one thing remains certain...markets always return to the mean as excesses in one direction inevitably lead to excesses in the other. Successful long term investing is about uncovering opportunities that have fallen by the wayside as investors flock to the newest "money-maker" or identifying long term trends that will ultimately lead to growth in a specific company or sector. Often times, this means being willing to make decisions that others are avoiding.