I'm a private investor looking for investment ideas for my personal retirement that will hopefully arrive in 2030. After hiring advisers and just barely breaking even for many years, I started taking control of my own investing in 2005. I started out learning from the Motley Fool Stock Advisor and Hidden Gems services. I learned a lot about basic investing, but found the recommendations very hit or miss. I fared pretty well during the great recession of 2008/2009 and had the fortitude to be a buyer instead of a seller. My portfolio recovered well, but as my portfolio grew I began to dread the earnings announcements of my high growth companies and their volatility. I started seeking an alternative way to invest and found Seeking Alpha and David Van Knapp, whose articles just made sense to me. Since 2010 have been focused on building a widely diversified dividend growth portfolio. I am President and sole owner of a small corporation that performs Process Control/SCADA IT related consulting for the Oil and Gas industry. I also own a small number of rental properties.