Mid 50s self employed professional with a degree in Finance, but I don't work in the investment management field anymore. I manage my own investments in registered and non-registered brokerage accounts, almost entirely long-term, dividend growth oriented blue chips and a few ETFs. Financial goal is $75K/yr in dividend income by age 65, which I am on track to accomplish.
I am a just a regular recently retired guy. My occupation was not associated with the investment world. My investment theory is that by executing my own trades, if I earn what I would have paid in commission then my trade is a success. I have learned that the buy decision is easier than the sell decision; that emotions overwhelm decisions to sell, paricularly in the face of loss; that professional investors know more than the individual investor; that the "quants" of the world have bankrupt the American Republic; and that one pays for every lesson learned and usually the learning comes from loss. I have also learned that government is woefully inadequate to protect the public.
I have futher learned that those who present "any" investment described as a "complex" trading maneuver devised by the "few" who understand intrictate relationships of various parts of the market are thieves.
Buy stock of companyies that make or own things that others use; that have a history of earnings growh, low debt to equity ratio and a history of dividend growh.
I view dividends as a mirror of the ability of company's management to deploy resources to produce earnings. Executive compensation must be aligned with shareholders interest.