Standard advice is one third in conservative bonds, one third something reasonably liquid, one third stocks. If you have investments in real estate, that should probably be separate. That's my shaky understanding. As you get older, the proportion in stocks should go down. Every six months, you re-evaluate, and redistribute the cash so that it covers the same rough spread, which means that as money increases in mutual funds, after six months, one third of it stays there or get placed into another well chosen stock asset, and the other two thirds is distributed to bonds and to liquid assets like C.D. or some such. As other stuff increases, that too gets distributed every six months or so. Within each of those three areas, I'm told, you need to have a broad series of investments, so problems in any single area don't trip you up too badly.
There is always pressure from greed to take more and more risk. There is always pressure from fear to constrict what you do further and further.
The greed leads individuals to act like gamblers when things look good, they look for hot tips, follow rumors. This leads to boom and bust as people look for the next big money maker. When they get into this mode, more of their money goes into stocks or hot growth items, and they let the money ride, rather than redistributing it like an investment, which is work; rather than gambling, which is play.
Unless the whole economy goes to hell, this tends to get folks through even tough times as a strategy. You save some, plug the money into this sort of system, and even in a down market, your losses are less. In an up market, you can actually do okay over the long term. But it's it's work and business, not play, and it has to be done systematically.
As an economy, what we've been doing is putting too much on the gambling side, and not been being systematic about re-evaluating where the economy is and what what needs to be done with some caution and where risk is useful. The dismantling of the go slow regulation part of the economy and tossing lots of money for people to gamble with toward those folks who are good at figuring new and interesting ways of doing that has meant that when we stumbled and the gamble failed, we hadn't kept much in the liquid side or in the bond-security side to help us get through. Or at least that's how I figure it.
I may be wrong, but I can at least kid myself I have some idea about what's happening in a kindergarten and crayon kind of way. Check about the investment tactics, though. I think I'm really not too far off.
Anyway, it's some thoughts.
Best, Bob K. Sorry your in the dumps about this stuff. Me Too.