Although I dabbled with a high school stock picking project, my first memorable experience of the stock market was the Dot.Com crash. My Grandmother gave me some Lucent stock to help pay for college. I vividly remember reading that Lucent was the most widely held stock in America. "If everyone already owns it, how can it go up any more?" I thought. So I looked it up. $72/share. But college life is busy, and I forgot to sell. The next time I checked it, the price was $2. You could say that the foundation of my investment experience was the brutal power of a market crash. The next thing that made me open my eyes about the market was reading "The Alchemy of Finance" by George Soros. At the time, I was a Financial Advisor for Merrill Lynch. I soon tired of the sell side of the business, but I learned one thing: the most important investment decision you can make is which asset classes you pick. This reinforced my belief that the big picture is of the utmost importance. George Soros' book inspired me to start a practice account, which I ran for a whole year in 2006. In 2007, I took my savings and put it into the market. Since then, I've had good and bad years. In 2008, convinced a credit collapse was imminent, I shorted banks and homebuilders, and returned 50%. In 2009, I foolishly ignored the "green shoots" and lost 36%. Still, my three year return (Jan 1, 2007 to Jan 1, 2010) was a positive 7%. In 2010, I graduated from the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University with an M.A. in Politics, Economics, and Business. My coursework included classes in global finance, strategic modeling, economic development theory, the neuroscience of economic decision making, as well as the basics of corporate finance and financial markets.