Individual investor in mostly long positions in stocks starting in 1998. My background is organic chemistry working in the specialty chemical and pharmaceutical industries over the last 23 years. I have worked in research and development, quality assurance and currently manufacturing as a process chemist/engineer. Interestingly I don't routinely invest in chemical or pharmaceutical companies. I don't pretend to know if a new drug candidate will get through the clinical phases especially with the smaller caps that live or die based on a new drug approval. When I do invest in pharmaceuticals I prefer companies with a strong generic or OTC business that provides reliable cash flows. My investment focus over the last 15 years has been primarily small to mid cap companies with market capitalization under 5 billion. The majority of my positions have ranged from retail, industrial and the service industries to more recently energy stocks. A few stocks that have treated me well over the years are BWLD, PRAA, JOBS, FARO, CTRP, CHKP (just lucky to catch the internet bubble). Some major duds have been Lernout and Hauspie (fraud) and Irwin financial (financial crisis that made me realize how little I knew). Recently I have moved into some larger cap stocks with a few established and financially sound foreign companies given the uncertainty with the overhanging debt around the world. But I haven't lost the taste for the next growing small to mid cap company, especially US based. Although being in manufacturing and witnessing the rebirth of the chemical industry due to cheap and abundant natural gas in the US I am bullish long term here at home. Working full time I rely mainly on information from newsletters and financial websites like Seeking Alpha for investment leads that always lead me to the company financials before making a move. Frankly, the only advantage I have in the market is the ability to hold long term without having to report my short term performance. In my spare time when I'm not in the investment world, I spend time with family, playing ice hockey and helping out with science education in the community.