My interest in common stocks dates back to the 1950's. My father would leave the Sat. morning paper open to the quotation pages at our breakfast table, with an occasion underlining of one of the many companies. The earliest date I can recall is/was for a position he held in a company called Tidewater, an oil service firm. After I graduated college in 1967, I was hired by Dean Witter as a Reagistered Rep. From there I moved to manage the office of Piper Jaffray in Alexandria. My father took me to visit a brokerage firm when I was 11 or 12, and seeing the ticker tape, flashing numbers et al, I was hooked . As I recall, it was Kidder Peabody. In any case, I have followed the markets for 5 decades, and I don't mean as a salesman. I had read a book prior to being hired by Dean Witter called 50 Wall Street or some such thing. The essence of the novel was that it was written by a reporter for the Wall St. Journal, and emphasized the importance of being a "customer's man" as brokers were called in the 30's, rather than just a stock peddling broker. To me this meant that I had to do my own research, regardless of whatever my firm was espousing, always do what was best for the client, rather than the firm, and finally study study study, day and night the inner workings of the markets. I was very grateful to the author of that book for the lessons learned, for they served me well in my career that lasted from the late 1960's to the first decade of the 2000's. In retirement, I have continued the research just as I had during my formal registered years. I find the whole process fascinating, and doubt thet I'll ever give it up.