My original dshort.com website was launched in February 2005 using a domain name based on my real name, Doug Short. I'm a first wave boomer with a Ph.D. in English from Duke and a lifelong interest in economics and finance. In 2011 my website was acquired by Advisor Perspectives.
My first career was a faculty position at North Carolina State University, where I achieved the rank of Full Professor in 1983. During the early '80s I got hooked on academic uses of microcomputers for research and instruction. In 1983, I co-directed the Sixth International Conference on Computers and the Humanities. An IBM executive who attended the conference made me a job offer I couldn't refuse.
Thus began my new career as a Higher Education Consultant for IBM — an ambassador for Information Technology to major universities around the country. After 12 years with Big Blue, I grew tired of the constant travel and left for a series of IT management positions in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. I concluded my IT career managing the group responsible for email and research databases at GlaxoSmithKline. In mid-2006 economic analysis became my full-time occupation.
My interest in economics and financial planning was triggered by the bear market of 1973-74. My wife and I bought our first home in August 1973, a month after our second child was born. Two months later, the Oil Embargo tripled gas prices, and I began commuting to work on a bicycle. During the decade of stagflation, I became fascinated with economics, finance, and market behavior (my wife claims it's an addiction).
Charting financial data is something I've been doing for over thirty years. I was an early user of first-generation spreadsheet software (VisiCalc, SuperCalc, and Lotus 1-2-3), and I participated in the beta program for the original release of both Excel and Quicken.
I use the word "chart" for my visualizations of data rather than "graph", which has always struck me as a bit pretentious. I suppose my word choice was determined decades ago by the terminology used in spreadsheet software.
Contrary to what many visitors assume based on my last name, I'm not a bearish short seller. It's true that some of my content has occasionally been a bit pessimistic in recent years. But I believe this is a result of economic realities and not a personal bias. For the record, my efforts to educate others about bear markets date from November 2007, as this Motley Fool article attests.
Unless I've been coerced into a vacation to a remote location without Internet access, I'm usually at home in North Carolina watching the economy and markets on my handy Ultrabook or iPad.
Doug Short, Ph.D.