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February 19, 2014

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When I retired I never gave it a thought to start a small business but to my surprise it happened.

I had just subscribed to a service that provided a vast database of mutual fund and market index data (updated daily) that also came with extensive computation and charting capabilities. At that time, which was 1993 there was no internet as we know it today but the service also maintained a "Bulletin Board" through which its several thousand subscribers could read and post messages from other members.

I had a strong software background and with the company's approval started writing small pieces of code that other subscribers could use to perform calculations that weren't available. For quite a while I received gifts from fellow subscribers in appreciation of the software I was giving them. Meanwhile I started building a computer code that contained all of my analysis modules. One day my wife said to me, "Instead of getting all of these miscellaneous gifts from all over the USA why don't you sell your software?"

That's when I started working very long hours every day building a very comprehensive analysis code along with a 150 page manual. It took me two years to make the first version available. It was well received and I started getting lots of orders which resulted in daily trips to the Post Office to mail out the packages. A year or two later I finished version 2 which was now came with a 300 page manual. Meanwhile the company was holding annual seminars all over the USA that attracted a great many subscribers and included guest speakers that were big names in the investment world. I eventually took it off the market so that our lives could get back to normal but it was a great, and very profitable ride while it lasted.

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