I'm really not afraid of what the stock market is doing. I think it will be higher in a year than it is now. Meanwhile my investment portfolio keeps growing so I must be doing something right... for me.
I hung on - perhaps too long - while the market went down. By the time I regretted that, I felt it was too late to sell out. I was a couple of years from planned retirement. So I rode it out... sigh.
As the market moved up, I came up with some cash and made some investments, took some risk and made out very well over all.
I was not happy with how the mutual funds recovered and have now sold almost all. I inherited some bond funds that are yielding 6%+ so I'm hanging onto them for now. The stock funds have been replaced with dividend paying stocks. So far it's working.
I'm not really worried about the stock market. I like having individual stocks and managing them myself with my broker doing some background checking for me. I also like buying bonds on the secondary market, that are investment grade but just barely - so they sell at a big discount. So far I haven't gotten burned. I only buy bonds that are maturing in 1 - 5 years.
So far I am not comfortable with options - I just can't get my head around them despite trying - so I don't invest that way. I'm in a buy and hold and collect the dividends mode.
I am definitely someone who isn't afraid of risk, as long as it's a calculated risk. For a while I was day trading tech stocks and some other stocks (before the crash) but after being VERY burned a couple of times, I felt that I had learned a lot and moved on......
I treat investing as a learning experience. I enjoy it. I know a lot of people don't but I do. I don't worry about asset allocation. I am careful to stay diversified in terms of industry or sector. I just bought BMY and T today because they represented some areas I didn't own (or not much of). They pay dividends and I think they'll rise over the next year. If they go down past some point I'll know when I see it - I'll sell them and move on.
So - that's what I think of stocks!