My (Updated) Investment Philosophy

You can talk to 10 different people and get 10 different opinions about investing. Or even different definitions of investing. In this post, I intend to lay out my personal thoughts on investing, which have been cultivated over the past 10 years or so.

It started with a passing interest due to a friend in the Army Reserve that was interested in investing. We talked about interesting stocks and companies when killing time on drill weekends or while deployed in Iraq, and that led me to further research about investing.

When I returned from Iraq – and subsequently left the Army Reserve and lost my civilian job – I was looking for something to do as I entered my post-Army life. I was completing a degree in accounting, and on a whim, I applied for an internship with The Motley Fool. I wasn’t selected for that internship, but it was suggested to me that I should apply to their Writer Development Program that was starting up later that year, and I was accepted into that program. After spending six months in Alexandria, Virginia learning how to be a “Fool,” I was unleashed on the world as a contract writer for the site, where I wrote primarily about banks, specifically small and regional banks. Continue reading

TDOH: Alexander Hamilton, Part 2

Note: This is a re-blog of something I wrote previously. Please see this post for what I am doing this month. 

As I work my way through the biography of Alexander Hamilton (hopefully in advance of seeing Hamilton: An American Musical when it makes its stop in Salt Lake), I’ll be writing some thoughts about the book, or just thoughts about Hamilton in general. They won’t always be a direct critique of the book, but we’ll see what happens.

Alexander Hamilton wrote a lot. Three-quarters of the Federalist Papers. A report on public credit and the national bank. A pamphlet about an affair in an attempt to clear the air. Biographer Ron Chernow noted that Hamilton “must have produced the maximum number of words that a human can scratch out in 49 years.” If there were notes to be taken or thoughts about something, It was almost a guarantee that he wrote it down.

This was evidenced by his courtship of Elizabeth Schuyler. Granted, at the time, it wasn’t as if he could spend hours upon hours on the phone speaking with his future wife. For one, the telephone wasn’t yet invented; second, he was mostly away with the Army fighting the Revolutionary War as George Washington’s aide, so he didn’t really have a bunch of free time. Nevertheless, he wooed the young Eliza with his words on paper, sending her a letter nearly every day he was away (we know this because he chastised her for not keeping up with his prolific pace of letter writing). Continue reading

Alexander Hamilton, Part 2

As I work my way through the biography of Alexander Hamilton (hopefully in advance of seeing Hamilton: An American Musical when it makes its stop in Salt Lake), I’ll be writing some thoughts about the book, or just thoughts about Hamilton in general. They won’t always be a direct critique of the book, but we’ll see what happens.

Alexander Hamilton wrote a lot. Three-quarters of the Federalist Papers. A report on public credit and the national bank. A pamphlet about an affair in an attempt to clear the air. Biographer Ron Chernow noted that Hamilton “must have produced the maximum number of words that a human can scratch out in 49 years.” If there were notes to be taken or thoughts about something, It was almost a guarantee that he wrote it down.

This was evidenced by his courtship of Elizabeth Schuyler. Granted, at the time, it wasn’t as if he could spend hours upon hours on the phone speaking with his future wife. For one, the telephone wasn’t yet invented; second, he was mostly away with the Army fighting the Revolutionary War as George Washington’s aide, so he didn’t really have a bunch of free time. Nevertheless, he wooed the young Eliza with his words on paper, sending her a letter nearly every day he was away (we know this because he chastised her for not keeping up with his prolific pace of letter writing). Continue reading

On the Eve of My 37th Birthday

In the past, I have written something in “celebration” of my birthday. Looking back now, I thought it was something that I had done more often, but alas, it was only like three years total: 2009 was a brief post from Fort Dix, NJ while we were getting ready to deploy to Iraq; 2012 was a reflection on that year on a month-to-month basis; last year, I made a list of “36 Things Learned in 36 Years,” so the history is not nearly as robust as I thought.

Nevertheless, I want to reflect on this past year, and maybe look forward to the next one. I am kind of loathe to write “resolution” posts – though I have done it before [20092011a; 2011b; 2013 (part 3 of 3 with links to the other parts); 2014; and 2015]. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that I want to change or improve in the next year, but I’d rather just tell everyone on my birthday next year that I was successful in the secret goals for 2018.

Continue reading