I am a Canadian investor/trader. . I follow 50 or so stocks in Canada and the US. I don't get emotionally attached to any of those stocks. Early 2008 I observed a lot of bull in the market and started writing a blog http://marketsbull.blogspot.ca/. By summer I packed it in and stayed in 100% cash until Dec 2009. I used my cash position as cover to sell naked puts. This was the smartest move I made in all my years of investing. Of the 20 + puts I sold they all expired worthless except for one. Back then the premiums were Fantastic. Today I trade options around any long position I hold . My experience taught me to avoid buying options unless the trend is obvious. 9 out 10 times selling an option is a winning strategy. I only short a stock when everyone including the taxi drivers fall in love with it. I shorted Apple. I also bought BBRY because most analysts hate it.