Private Investor: Stock and Real Estate Over three decades of active investing experience. Originally trained in economics and investment finance, and a lifelong student of macroeconomics and market cycles. Retired Financial Services CEO, and Fortune 500 executive, with investment, private equity and venture capital experience. Macro trends and market cycles drive my investment strategy. I evaluate the macro trends first, and then select specific investments (mostly ETFs) to maximize the opportunity. I also use sector rotation, higher beta picks, and leverage/margin to enhance my returns. A key element of my strategy is to exit the markets near the top, and only reenter after the panic and crash has run its course. I did this successfully for the 2001-2002 crash, and the 2008 crash, being completely out for most of the decline, and being fully invested before and after. With real estate I follow a similar, but mitigated, cycle strategy. I add properties during the early and mid cycle recoveries, and sell some of the properties at the top (late 1980s and mid 2000s) to take profits, and reduce exposure for the decline. Because real estate prices fall less than stocks, and the transaction costs are much higher, the benefit of liquidating property on a cycle timing strategy is less significant. Real estate related stocks are a more efficient way to play the cycle. I hold some real estate as a long-term bond-like investment providing inflation hedged income and principal. Current investment holdings: 35% residential rental properties, 15% homebuilders and other real estate related stocks, and 50% other stocks (including ETFs). By contrast, in late 2009 my portfolio was about 35% real estate, 25% financial institutions, and 40% all other. I am not a day trader. My typical holding period is about two years.