I'm retired and make a living investing and trading stocks. Careful research has paid off with big dividends and I will always continue to learn as much as possible about any company I ever invest in. There is always risk associated with any investment and I have found that thorough research coupled with a little luck can lead to great returns. One must always be prepared for unexpected major market reversals and for a strategy to wait these downturns out. I have found that preserving some of your holdings in cash especially as markets trade consistently higher can help soften any unexpected losses that will eventually happen if you trade long enough.