I spent almost 25 years in academics and knew next to nothing about investing. ``The stock market is a big scam. Leave it alone,'' ``You need to truly diversify,'' and ``buy index funds'' were some of the advices I got from friends. I tried all of these and was not happy about the results. Fortunately, over-education doesn't mean stop being curious and learning to me. Great books such as ``Rich Dad Poor Dad,'' ``The Millionaire Next Door,'' ``Dividends Don't Lie,'' and Warren Buffett's bios, among others, opened my mind about what's possible. I am a very good software programmer who loves his job. My investment goal is to have the money machine throw off $5,000/mo.