Middle 50's - Prepared for an active Retirement sooner than later. Social liberal - Fiscal Conservative. Believe in investing to produce wealth. Love trading to have fun. Investing rules to live by: 1. Always invest based on your own ideas. Corollaries: a. Never take anyones recommendations or stock picks. b. Listen to Cramer. But, don't invest in what he recommends. Listen to _why_ he recommends them. Especially, when he's talking about a stock you already own. c. Never take specific recommendations from a broker or financial planner. - Especially with front-end loads! - Listen to _why_ they want you to purchase the investment vehicles they are suggesting. 2. "Read the Quarterlies! It's all in there!" Corollaries: a. When _investing_ its very important to understand what the company says their business plan is. _Not_ what analyst say it is. Well, they very conveniently put that in writing for you. It's called a quarterly report. I'm continually amazed how few people that call them selves _investors_ actually read these. It's often in black and white - the good, the bad, and the ugly. b. Look for inconsistencies between reports. i.e. last quarter it was "We're making 'big' widgets - 'cause that's where the market & the margins are!" - This quarter: 'Big widgets aint working - so we think will make little widgets. We came make lots. What we lose on margins, we'll make up in volume!" c. If the Q report is not clear, and their business plan is not obvious, then sell the stock. If they can't articulate what they are doing... then you shouldn't believe in it. Enron is a famous example of this. The stock was going up like a rocket - I thought about investing in it... I read one analysts analysis (though I generally don't consider analysts as having a brain) after reading the Q: "I've read thousands of quarterly reports in my career. This is first I've read that I don't understand how they make money. There are so many asterisks in this report as to make it unreadable." I read that - and I was done thinking about Enron as an investment. 3. When starting or closing a position - always look at the technical charts. I don't believe in using charts when deciding what to buy or sell an _investment_. But, I've found technical analysis really useful in timing a purchase or sell. I will use technical analysis to make a _trade_. Too many times I've bought into a good _investment_ when it was falling .... Only to see it fall much farther. Or sold, a winning position, only to see it rise much higher .... both times shortly after my decision to enter or exit. The timing of the purchase or sell, is an inherently a short term event. Technical analysis is useful in deciding when to pull the trigger. 4. Never make a trade that can impact any other part of your portfolio. i.e. Don't ever use Margin. But, options can be Fun! 5. Put Options are useful to preserver gains. Esp. when a stock has made great gains ... You think is over bought ... But, darn. You want to hold it for a year to avoid those marginal tax rates... Okay, now purchase some put options to preserver your profit.