After graduating with a PhD in philosophy, I found myself torn between two things I loved doing the most--philosophy and investing/trading. I think I have finally managed to strike a balance between the two--teaching philosophy and trading the markets for part of the time each. As much as I like the markets, I can't bear sitting in front of the monitors looking at ticking candlestick charts all day long. I started learning to invest back in 2000 at the height of the tech bubble. Like many at the time, I lost money, but learned quite a few valuable lessons. For self-directed investing, I like to tap into global trends through ETFs, options and other vehicles. Presently, I have holdings in gold and silver, in agriculture and energy. I also invest in the best managed domestic and global mutual funds with good long-term track records. . I do some short-term to intermediate-term trading using technical analysis as well.