I worked for the federal government and have now retired. I worked in Asia twice, Europe twice, and once behind the "iron curtain". My job was to gather info and submit reports, mostly dull. I was often referred to being an oxymoron. I studied several languages, Spanish, British, German, Russian, and Vietnamese, plus their history, laws, and culture. I have worked and lived in two countries that are countries no longer. The people are sitll there, doing better, just changed citizenship. My job# was 971A-H and sometimes 972A. Enjoyed the work and people I met. Would do it again if needed. I have a BS degree in math and computers, helps me think using logic.
Retired Public Service Professional / manage my personal 401 & family portfolio.
Stocks that I either own or that are of interest to me are: AAPL, ANDE, COP, CSX, EPD, FB, HCN, JNJ, MMM, PG, SLB, SWKS, TRN, VZ, WFC, & WFSTX
Retired Naval Officer and Family Physician
AAPL, ARLP, AWK, BA, CLB, COP, JNJ, KMI, MCD, MMM, NSC, PEP, PSX, SBUX, UPC, UTX, WEC, WTR, XOM
REITs - EXR, HME, O, OHI, VTR
BDCs - MAIN & TCAP
MLPs - DPM
52, trying to save for retirement, college for teenager, and a few fun family activities. Long many of the usual suspects (GIS, DUK, HSY, MMM, CMI, SO, GE, CVS, WAG, among others) and trying to increase savings. Burned by BAC, TYC, and GE and a couple of others while chasing yield; still smarting but learned from those hard lessons and doing much better now. Finally off the mutual fund racket except for a 401k that doesn't allow investment in individual stocks. Firm believer in buying and holding and DGI. No options.
I'm just your average guy with no formal investment training, but have started to manage my own investments. I've been contributing to my 401k and buying some stocks here and there for years, but not with any real direction. In early 2013 I discovered SA and DGI, and decided it was time to learn about truly investing for my future, and not just guessing about it. I have been on that track ever since.
Were in the best market in the world why settle for less when we can settle for more why make money quaterly when we can make it monthly.
Why get 10% a year or 3% when you can get 12% or 18% every month. Why speculate when you can make money all the time. I'm in this market to make money and acquire more wealth not to buy a stock that only acquires growth and pays back no money in return.
Private Investor - Actively manage my investment and retirement accounts.
Trading Methodology - Always looking to hit home runs while slashing singles and stealing bases. (ie I look for long opportunities (GARP) and swing trade while following the major trend. Sometimes use options to gain leverage or safety.)
Trading Frequency - Yearly, monthly, weekly and daily. Differing strategies and time horizons for different stocks and situations.
I'm retired. Bought the farm -- literally (in NE Texas).
I'm a boomer, not a depression era kid (it was my parents who lived through that mess). So I'm exaggerating a bit when I state that the "Great Depression" ran into the late 50's where I grew up (the Appalachia of the West). But I did go to bed hungry, dreaming of food, because there was literally nothing to eat. The family's grocery problem was eventually solved through the good graces of a religious charity, the assistance of friends and neighbors, the perseverance of my parents, and more than a little luck.
I believe those early lean times provided a wee-bit of incentive to not let those circumstances repeat themselves... I really dislike going hungry.
But I was lucky. I had clothes; usually ate on a regular basis; got a bath once a week in a tin wash tub, whether it was needed or wanted; got medical treatment for the slices, dices and broken bones that would have crippled me, treatment for the diseases that, left untreated, would have killed me; and had the opportunity to go to school. That was an opportunity I seized with both hands and did not let go.
I am by nature inherently lazy... given the choice between digging ditch with pick and shovel at $0.10/hour or sitting behind a desk writing software at hundreds of times that hourly rate... I decided not to dig ditches.
Now that I'm retired and own the farm, I dig ditches for free.
As a kid I read constantly... pretty much everything on just about anything. Cleaned out the local libraries (it was a very small town). "The Richest Man in Babylon", biographies of Hughes, Carnegie, Rockefeller, and others, histories, westerns, mysteries, SF. Remembered various parables about being unable to grasp opportunities because one had wasted his resources.
Can't say I always succeeded, but I tried. Towards the end of my career, managed to live on about 1/3 of my gross, saving and investing what was left after taxes and insurance, and still had opportunities for fun, recreation, travel and friends.
As a NASA Engineer, I wrote a large variety of software. Some of the more notable items were:
* an email management system for the Agency and its contractors (the project included writing the procedures; reporting and correcting third party data errors;
* designing, writing and testing the software; designing and implementing the database schema and queries; navigating inter-center politics; etc);
* a moving map software that flew twice aboard the Shuttle and displayed alternate landing sites in the event of a launch emergency;
* post landing wheel-tire-brake analysis software for the Shuttle (STS-1 to final-flight);
* a graphical, real-time dynamic software simulator for a 7-joint robot;
* a FMEA/CIL data processing system (software and procedures) for Return-to-Flight after the Challenger disaster; data structures &
* translation software for the Shuttle's Wake Shield Experiment; and
* a Shuttle-Station docking simulator.
Also designed, developed, tested and used a simulation language, a graphics processing language, and various computer language processing and analysis tools.
And then there was the "fun" NASA stuff... logging 40 minutes of zero-G time (and 40 minutes of 2G time), riding a 6-DOF shuttle simulator, working (and biking) with a handful of astronauts, SCUBA-ing in the WETF whilst observing astronauts using the tools my group designed, witnessing a Shuttle launch, doing Shuttle post-landing ground penetrometer studies at Edwards AFB, simulating shuttle tile repair whilst mounted horizontally on an air-bearing floor, mentoring younger engineers, and working with some of the best and brightest people I've met in my life.
In my free time:
* I developed commercial library management, scheduling and reporting software packages, wrote the user manuals, made onsite visits and learned a lot of humility;
* guest lectured and taught software development at universities.
* lived for years in various locales in northern Japan, participated in a traditional Japanese marriage ceremony (my own), helped my father-in-law with a bit of traditional Japanese construction near Sendai, and played Shogi whenever possible (Shogi is the Japanese version of chess. The local shogi master's shocked expression of total surprise when I beat him at the game was priceless ... To the master I was just an idiot "gaijin" [foreigner] and not worth his full attention. He won the next game.);
* lived for three months in Hawaii;
* made brief excursions to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
While at one time I could read, write, think, dream, and speak (without accent) in standard Japanese and could understand a bit of the Tsugaru and Zuzu-ben dialects, I don't practice much anymore.
My time in the US Army made me appreciate my MOS (a retired crypto sub-specialty) was not 11B.
I have engineering background and have worked for 35+ years as a software engineer and a systems analyst in the computer field. I am over 60 and have retired recently. Over the years, I have invested in mutual funds and ETFs but was caught off-guard by the 2008 market crash. So, I decided to learn more about investments. Last year, I came across Seeking Alpha and found it of tremendous value. I realize that there are many people on the forum who are ready and willing to share their expertise and experiences with others. My investment approach seems to be be evolving, and my current approach is:
(1) Use ETFs or CEFs for the fixed-income part of the portfolio. The % for this may vary based on many factors.
(2) Invest in utility and energy preferred stocks.
(2) Invest in quality growth companies that provide dividends between 3% to 5% that have a history of increasing dividends by about 8% or more.
(3) Invest in REITs, MLPs, and gas/oil royalty trusts with dividends ranging from 5% to 8%.
(4) Invest a small portion of portfolio in oil, energy and high growth stocks, especially in the energy exploration area.
I like to position the portfolio with low volatility, stay abreast with the news and inputs from many SA authors, and thus make informed buy/sell decisions. Use both technical and fundamental analysis. The cash position is at least 10% or more to take advantage of various bargains for the quality stocks.
Though I see myself as a long-term investor, but I also like to take advantage of short-term opportunities in energy, metals, and agriculture areas. I have used Dollar Cost Averaging for purchasing quality stocks and have closed positions if the intended expectations were not met based on certain criteria.
I am currently learning about the 20/50/200 moving averages to put trailing stop losses for my various positions. I have been whip-sawed a few times and noticed that the stock price came back soon. For now, the intention is to leave the core portfolio alone and add to it during major market dips. Mostly I use 'limit order' approach for buying and trailing stop loss for selling.
I have many favorite SA authors whose writings I admire and am always learning from them. It is indeed a joy to be able to find this forum and to share investment ideas, tips, research, market news and sentiments, and utlize all this to make prudent investment decisions.