I have been investing for over 30 years. First it was mostly in mutual funds, but I got sick of paying high fees for mediocre returns. Over the past 15 years I have been slowly reducing my mutual fund holdings and adding individual stocks. Over the past year two years have started to add options to the portfolio, At the present time I am 84% stocks, 7% mutual funds, 8% cash, and 1% short options. I usually like to hold between 5% and 10% cash so that I can take advantage of opportunities when they arise. I still like to carry some really good mutual funds. That is, long term good performers, with low fees. I also use them for most of my international holdings since I am less comfortable with individual stocks (with some exceptions where I will invest in ADRs).
I have a forestry degree, and an MBA with a finance emphasis. I really do understand discounted cash flow analysis and believe that this is the true measure of a company's worth. However, that is not how companies are valued in the marketplace at times. I take advantage of this by using a combination of Value based strategies and Momentum strategies while in a bull market, and reverting to true Value approaches in flat or bear markets. Value always comes into play, even in bull markets, by using GARP strategies and looking at PEG ratios for the momentum plays.
I am fairly well read in investing. A few of my favorites are:
"The Intelligent Investor" by Benjamin Graham
"A Random Walk Down Wall Street" by Burton Malkiel
"One Up On Wall Street" and "Beating The Street" by Peter Lynch
"Den of Thieves" by James B. Stewart
"The Quants" by Scott Patterson
I do my own Markowitz portfolio optimization, using a spreadsheet that I built myself and monthly stock quotes downloaded from Yahoo. That helps to keep me well diversified, and with a risk/return profile that I understand and can adjust as necessary. I have recently been using more of a "Quant" approach to stock selection using a combination of a) Benjamin Graham intrinsic value for current year and next year, b) low Price to Earnings Growth (PEG ration