I'm a retiree but have been trading stocks for 13 years. I do swing trades on growth stocks, buy beaten down value plays for longer term investments, but stay mostly in cash unless the Vix goes above 30. In addition to stocks, I do invest in precious metals and commodities. Relative to stocks, I do evaluate quarterly reports and earnings growth, but am aware of chart patterns. I've come to think that one should really try to play corrections as a basic strategy -- versus getting rolled over by them.