I bellieve that you begin with the end in mind. That being the case, if I ultimately aim to create a growing income stream from investments in retirement why should I invest any differently now? I believe that bonds are good investments. I also believe that good is the enemy of great and therefore do not invest in bonds for anything more than a short-term holding place unitl I determine my next move. I make around 4 trades per year which are generally purchases. I do not include DRIP's as a trade as I invest in several each month regardless of price as I am seeking to build positions in these companies as I believe that they will continue to pay and grow their dividend distributions. The most exciting thing about my portfolio is being able to see how many shares my dividends bought this quarter that will pay me that much more next quarter.
I have come to rely on the SA forum as a source of investment ideas and feedback. I have been investing in individual stocks since the mid-80's. Everybody has their own style and comfort level with respect to risk. Mine is eclectic; I look at many more ideas than I purchase. One thing about investing in stocks--and things--you know: (ala Peter Lynch) when the market reacts negatively often the reaction is overdone. When that happens, and one is familiar with a stock, it's easy to know a bargain when you see one!