I used my liberal arts degree in medieval history to land a job as a Financial Consultant with Merrill Lynch in 1979 (one of 4 women in a class of 300) and learned everything I know about money from reading the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal on a daily basis for 23 years. That and watching my clients' accounts. The rich people I worked for made their money from a conservative buy and hold strategy, investing in companies they understood, never worrying about the ups and downs of the market. In 2000, I decided I was tired of obsessing about production rankings and portfolio returns. I needed time to explore all the other ways there are to be alive, not more money. And so I walked away from my private office and fancy title just before the tech bubble burst. That, friends, is the only "market timing" I've ever done. My best advice: 1. Use what you have and don't waste. 2. Pay off your house and all other outstanding debt. Financial freedom is priceless.