The Short Version:

Every investing book I have ever read has been written by someone who has a long list of great accomplishments. They are all written from the confident voice of an expert. I am not an expert. Not even close.

This blog is an open, honest, real-time account of my own personal success and failure. It documents my stock market education in the present tense, rather than telling “war stories” in the past tense. It captures both my over-excitement and my severe self-doubt. This is the live, ongoing account of my quest for financial independence through investing.

The Long Version:

When I was in 5th grade, I went to the Beaver Public Library and checked out every book they had on the Stock Market. I took them home and typed up notes on my IBM computer that ran a word processor from a floppy disk. I listed every word and definition I could find in those books. I just knew I was destined to “Beat the Market.”

Sometime near the beginning of my Junior year of college I decided that I really didn’t want to become an engineer. I found myself sitting in classes saying “If I have to spend the rest of my life solving heat problems I might as well just die now.” So I basically stopped going to classes for a year. In my free time that year I discovered the Business Section at Barnes & Noble and began reading books on Real Estate. From there I read all sorts of Business Nonfiction and eventually changed my major to Business Management Marketing. As I progressed through the business bestsellers, I eventually made my way to the Stock Market books. Some of my early reading included Benjamin Graham’s The Intelligent Investor, Peter Lynch’s One Up on Wall Street, and of course Jim Cramer’s Real Money. At the time I thought Cramer was THE MAN. BOOYAH!

At that point, I was fortunate enough to have a professor guide me in my stock market readings. He told me to read Reminiscence of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefevre and Market Wizards by Jack Schwager. He also taught me some of the basic concepts in these books, such as Cut your Loses Short, and Let your Profit Run. This guidance steered me towards my current approach to the markets. It was at this point that a friend and I spent a lot of time discussing how AAPL and GOOG were breaking out and if we only had some cash to invest we’d be going ALL IN.