I'm an individual investor, policy analyst and writer. The past ten years of my life have been spent in public service at various levels of government including in roles advising Cabinet Ministers and other senior officials, both civilian and military, on a multitude of policy issues. Without falling into pigeon holes, I'd describe myself as a value/dividend investor. The horizon for the majority of my investments is anywhere between 18 months to 5 years. The rest of my positions are shorter term plays of anywhere from a day up to 18 months. Things I look for in a stock are a track record of paying dividends which I think shows management's confidence in the ability to generate future profits (I will lump buybacks into this section as well); a company's relative moat to its industry peers; the quality of the board; and of course the relative "expensiveness" of the stock. Above and beyond those criteria, I do take into account macro economic factors that play on the market as a whole but which can also have very pronounced impacts on certain industries.