First started following equities when I was 13 and then started investing when I turned 18. My first investment was in a mutual fund with a $25 a month contribution and then opened a Merrill Lynch account to start buying individual stocks, albeit in small blocks. Continued investing as a hobby ever since. Even though it is a hobby, have performed pretty well; beating the S&P index over the last 3-year, 5-year, 10-year and 15-year time frames. My day job is in the credit union world as a marketing and business development professional. Investment goal: Create a balanced portfolio of investments that offer an income stream sufficient to support a nice retirement along with select growth opportunities so we can continue building an estate that will help provide for our kids and grandkids. Over the last nine years we have shifted much of the portfolio into dividend stocks and now have about 60% of our positions earning dividends. We reinvest all dividend income. Biggest investment challenge: This would be the sheer number of positions in the portfolio under management. With well over 100 investments between the regular brokerage accounts, multiple IRAs, and multiple 401Ks, it sometimes feels like we are running a small mutual fund or ETF. In retirement I suspect this will be fun.... :>) Really enjoy SA website. It is a very good source for research and a great place to develop investment ideas.