I first became interested in investing when I was about 12 years old. My mom was telling a story about her best friend's husband, who had bought stock in Clearly Canadian, and was handing out bottles to friends at every opportunity. I wanted to know more about what it meant to buy stocks, so my parents encouraged me to contact a broker, who suggested I get my start in mutual funds. In ninth grade, I participated in a stock market simulation game in one of my classes. My team came in first place, due in part to our tech-heavy focus in the mid 90s. Several years later, after following the market further, and contributing periodically to my mutual fund account, I inherited a good amount of money when a relative died. So, I opened an online account and started trading on my own around 2001-2002. Some of my initial purchases at that time included MO, AMZN and PFE. Unfortunately, I made some poor financial decisions during my college years and had to sell my positions to pay off some credit card debt. I currently manage the investments in my IRA, as well as those in my wife's. Since we are both relatively young, I look for stocks that offer consistent dividend growth, as well as companies that might be undervalued. I am currently long ETN, GOOGL, MA, GILD, TXRH and TWX.