Somehow I've managed to survive self-employed (otherwise known as unemployed, freelancing, taking time off, and entrepreneurship) for nearly twenty years, a stint far longer than my salaried career.

This despite long stretches of low revenue (otherwise known as app sales), whch I'd like to credit to my financial acumen, but really it boils down to staying single, moving to Las Vegas while it was still climbing out of the housing crash, and last year investing much of my IRA in any company that was working on a COVID vaccine.

Another stock picking strategy I employ is selling/avoiding any company that offends my sensibilities. Like tobacco companies, obviously. And similarly, social media companies. But also any company that actively supported Trump. The screenshot above is a sample from Open Secrets of companies that contributed to Trump's inaugration.

Some companies on that list contributed to previous administrations, so they just paid to play. Others contributed mostly or only to Trump. In any case, I'm applying cancel culture to all of them.

I was dismayed to see a lot of tech companies there – I had to sell Qualcomm, Microsoft...and there's also Google, Verizon, AT&T, Intel, Samsung...slumming it out with the oil companies and casinos.

This strategy might seem limiting, but really, it just makes stock picking easier to have an additional filter. I don't have time to develop and maintain an encyclopedic knowledge of the entire market (in which case I'd have my own Mad Money show). But if I have some stock in a company that's on the uptick, I pray, please don't be evil.