I'm 29 years old, and am married with three children. I work as a Corrections Officer, and am attending college online for a degree in Financial Services. My investing history started off pretty rocky, with several false starts. Most people probably would have given up long ago, but today I'm so thankful that I just kept trying. I bought my first stock when I was about 13. I wanted to buy MTV or Mtn Dew (I was 13), but the "Advisor" talked me into some POS high spec bio stock. Here's the shocker - the bio stock blew up, and I lost about 99% of my whopping $100 investment. I gave up on stocks until I was about 23 when I heard of ShareBuilder's low commissions and dollar cost averaging. So I plowed a couple hundred bucks into my SB account buying $25 worth of stock at a clip. Of course the commissions ruined me. In late 2008, I became intrigued by some of the huge stock "sales" going on (GE anyone?). I added another several hundred to my account, and proceeded to deploy it all well before the bottom. Most of that money was wiped out when I capitulated in early 2009, shortly before the bottom. Throughout 2009, I became increasingly interested in the stock market. I continued to deposit money into my trading account. I also started learning everything I could about investing. In one regard it worked, my stock picks were profitable (although it was during a great bull run). However, I had also learned about options. This led me to SogoTrade. I quickly managed to undo all of my stock wins with option losses. I was making the standard option noob mistakes - buying OTM front month options. However, I kept studying all I could about the markets. Finally, in late 2009, it all started to come together. I had gained a great knowledge of investing in a short time. I also found out about spread strategies. This was my ticket. Now however, I needed a place to trade these simple and complex spreads. Once again, I changed brokers. This time I moved to thinkorswim. It felt like all of the pieces had finally fallen into place. Throughout 2010, I have continued to learn, both by traditional resources, and by trial and error. I have been applying these lessons to my trading, and have created a set of rules based on what I've learned. I am still learning, and hence still making minor adjustments to my rules. So far they have been proving themselves under fire. During a very volatile period, I managed to rake up a nice profit. This hasn't just been chump change either. I'm way up for the year. Hopefully it's not a fluke, but the only way I'll know is to keep plugging away at it. My portfolio is now divided into four segments: 10% Speculative short-term plays. All have time frames of a few days to 1 year. The strategies vary widely, and include contrarian plays, momentum plays, fundamental picks, and potential catalyst plays. 20% Core Holdings - Stable large cap stocks with good yields that I can sell calls against. 20% Cash - For adjustments, and panic induced bargains. 50% Income Trades - Mostly Iron Condors, but I'll also trade Calendars and Butterflies.