Hey guys. I'm new to the forum and I think this place will be helpful in gaining solid advice. I'll give a quick "about me" in the form of a bullet list: 22 years old. Am a web and software developer (know about a dozen different programming languages/libraries/frameworks). Have been been doing software development work professionally for four years (but jeeze, the amount of hours I've worked is equivalent to 6 or 7 years). Bought my first house before I turned 21. Developed an interest in and began programming at age 13. Dropped out of high school to focus more time on sharpening my programming skills (instead of getting right into my first startup, I took a job opportunity). Took my GED soon after leaving school and scored in the top 1% of America on the mathematics section (not sure how much that's saying, hah). Founder of two startups. Both of which have been "discontinued". Have a stay at home wife to take care of. Have two kids (oldest is 3.5 years). Recently broke the six-figure, annual income mark with a new job position. Confident in my skills and adaptability to take on any challenge. Will have around $50,000 of disposable income per year. This is after taxes and after normal bills. However, in the next year, I foresee about $35,000 worth of non-business related projects coming up that are essentially necessary (when The Wife says she wants renovations, you get the dang renovations!). Am a very ambitious entrepreneur and hard worker (over the years, I generally spend 40 hours/week at my full-time job then an additional 20-40 hours/week on side projects or ventures). Am a self-learner... I spend a great deal of time in independent studies to better my skills and knowledge. Have a few different business ideas (eventual web applications) that are moderate to high risk (aren't they all, though?). One of which is almost fully developed and I have high confidence in. I also have two failed startups' worth of experience on "how to fail" (a lot of it had to do with really crappy partners). Still, a failed startup is just more experience on how to come closer to succeeding next time. I guess this also leads me to my next point. Am optimistic, but very analytical and know how to be reasonable in my goals so as not to overload myself. Notes: I can use my disposable income to pay off on my house (my only real debt, at the moment). However, I only have a 4% interest rate on the mortgage and with inflation projected to continue at about 2%, I'm not in a rush to pay it off when there are better options (plus tax benefits on the mortage). At this point, it seems wiser to either a) invest my disposable income into something that can yield returns greater than the interest rate on my mortgage (e.g. stocks) or b) invest my disposable income into developing some of my own business ideas over the years. Obviously, investing in the stock market (although volatile) would be the more conservative choice of the two. Still, option b) has the potential to generate outstanding returns (or, you know, flunk- leaving me with a loss). Another problem with option a) is it's more of a passive thing (I'm not looking to getting into active day trading either), whereas option b) is aligned more with my passions. On the flip-side, I have already spent thousands of hours working on partners' startup ideas, and would hate to see thousands more invested into nothing if option b) falls through. Questions: What would you recommend someone in my shoes should do? Should I start a portfolio investing in stocks? Should I chance it and follow through with the business idea I am most confident in? Should I maybe look into doing something else with my skills or money (e.g. finding a local company that needs investment and turn it into a sweat equity)? Please, also share with me any options I may be overlooking. Thanks BAF community! Also, I look forward to helping the community with whatever software/web development advice I can offer.