My former username was ricarpe (http://seekingalpha.com/user/806440/profile). I no longer need to hide behind a pseudonym. I am a former Corporal of Marines. After completing active service, I put myself through college on the GI Bill, some student loans, and by living in the smallest room in my parents house. I earned an Associates of Arts in Political Science and completed my undergraduate education with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and a Certificate in Political Economy. My interests are primarily in economic development, international trade, and international affairs. I am continuing my education by pursuing a Masters of Science in Applied Economics part-time. I am currently working at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as an economist in the Current Employment Statistics - State and Area division. (http://www.bls.gov/sae) My work experience includes working as an economist for the Statistics of Income division of the IRS (http://www.irs.gov/uac/SOI-Tax-Stats-Corporation-Tax-Statistics) where I performed economic and statistical analysis on corporate income tax returns. I also have some experience in the private sector performing statistical data analysis on internet usage from "opted-in" tracked participants and logged information from websites. My investment experience and knowledge is mostly through self-learning -- I invested while I was in the Marine Corps and was able to profit a bit from it then. While I was in college, I continued to learn through paper trading accounts -- and a one-year stint working for a investment company known for it's mutual funds. I continue to invest today.