Small investor. 2011 Real Returns (adjusted for inflation, realized gains): 37% 2010 Real Returns (adjusted for inflation, realized gains): 18% I only started active investing after the 2009 debacle when my managed retirement funds came no where near close to tracking the run-up from the 2008 crisis. I realized then that the finance gods have no idea what they are doing and only look out for themselves. After intense self study and consultation with other successful investors I have started managing my money. I have learned that there is no such thing as being "fully hedged" and that this economic environment is full of opportunties if you look carefully. After getting into the market more closely I have witnessed the full-court press of sales-side pumpers/dumpers and other unsavory characters and find the financial world full of cock-roaches, rats, and snakes. "If someone can't provide a truly fundamental and compelling reason to buy an investment then stay away from it." (that is my philosophy). Other details: Engineer by trade. Computer Science, Philosophy, and Economics in my educational background. I own a small software company that creates enterprise mobility solutions for Fortune 500 companies (i.e. iPhone apps). I am in my 40s. Into weight lifting, running, rock climbing, hiking, and driving fast (well maybe not so much on the driving these days). Looking for ideas on Trading, Finance, and Economics. Please feel free to share your ideas or suggestions. I am not a professional but I sure like following the markets.