I have been hooked on stocks/companies since my teens. I have not had any formal financial training. I was in Retail for my working career and became semi-retired before reaching fifty years of age. I took up managing other people's money in the early nineties as a way to continue earning income as opposed to investment income. This allowed me to fund my retirement account. Since self directing my own IRA, it has grown double digits annually since the mid-seventies. I am family oriented and live without extravagance.