I started investing in 1984, just enough to get the company match, not many choices so I invested 100% in the SP500 fund. In 1997 I rolled my 401K over into an IRA when I changed jobs. Being too busy to spend much time thinking about investing I spread the money out into several value funds and an SP500 index fund. I also upped my 401K contribution at my new job. When 2002 rolled around I was down approximately 50%, this was unacceptable to me so I started paying more attention to investing. I learned all I could about value investing and decided to trade the safest, dividend paying stocks. I bought them whenever they hit 52 week lows and would sell them when I had a 15% profit. This worked pretty well until late 2008 when I got 100% invested by that December. I then watched my stocks continue to go down approximately 30% by March, 2009. Since then I started looking for a new way to invest that would be safer. I decided in late 2011 to switch to concentrating on dividend income and growing a safe income stream. My IRA contains PEP, NSRGY, PG, JNJ, T, TOT, RIG, ABT, BDX, HAS, ITW, INTC, MSFT, VIV, and CSCO.