Ryan Barnes is a self-professed lifelong investing nut. He can distinctly remember gazing over the business quotes page of the local paper in his grade 7 classroom. He saw a symbol called "BRK.HA" quoted at a price of a whopping $22,000, and was thoroughly convinced that this just had to be the largest company on earth, and by a lot.

Setting "Berk Ha", as he called it, aside for the moment, he was fortunate enough to have some early investment muses. His university had an alumni endowment left entirely to the undergraduate students to manage, and it proceeded to give them license to create a diversified portfolio of stock holdings, complete with student portfolio managers and research analysts.

Barnes has seen many sides of the industry, starting as an assistant to a stockbroker. He also had the dizzying experience of working for a dotcom in the late '90s, seeing first-hand how company management truly believed that the world was their oyster (and it was - right up until the year 2000).

Most recently, he worked with a privately-owned Registered Investment Advisor for several years, working in many different capacities, and gaining invaluable insight into the minds of individual investors. Barnes says that there is nothing like the stern, responsible joy of professional money management, and once he receives his CFA designation, he plans to return to the arena.