I decided to take control of my investments when I learned about the sub prime markets and other bond market anomalies in 2006. I am an amateur but I became convinced we were headed for a huge crash, decided to exit the equities market, and the Dow promptly went up to 14000 from 12000 when I got out. But I had conviction and I was proved right. My financial advisors and all the professionals I knew were completely useless. They are trapped by their business model, which basically requires them to get your money and leave it in a "diversified portfolio" and then move on to the next sale. When the market goes down they basically say "yea but everyone did poorly". I realized they were not helpful, had no particular insight, and certainly were not worth the money. I had an interest in stocks and was highly motivated. I realized I knew as much or more than them, so I decided I had to get a hold of as much information as I could and take matters into my own hands. I figured I would have no one to blame but myself if I screw it up. I can live with that.