My wife inherited some money about a year and a half ago. Altogether we currently have around 1.85 million dollars liquid(we're 30 years old). Unfortunately, during the deleveraging process that occurred last year I ended up losing around 170K. I bought a few commodity related etf's as a hedge against the falling dollar(we also had some blue chip stocks that came with the inheritance). These were meant to be long term holdings but I lost my cool because of the large amount involved. Also there was an emotional aspect to this issue because it was my wife's deceased parent's money(1/8 of the money is mine btw). Now I've been somewhat paralyzed ever since- afraid to lose more-my tolerance is very low. And seeing the dollar crater again and the markets bouncing back up is driving me nuts while I sit mostly in cash. Because of my low tolerance, I've tried scalping a bit with FAS/FAZ placing $10K - $20K orders at a time. But it's not easy to stick to rules. I'd be happy making $400 a day doing this. As I read in another thread, Im thinking the only way I will be able to trade is to setup the entry, exits and stops and step away and forget about the holding and only check periodically and pray that I average out on the positive side. I don't think I'll ever be able to be a buy and hold investor again after what happened(except for the gold and silver coins I own and never plan on selling). The thing is that I took a voluntary separation package some time ago and I have time to actively trade. I'm not particularly excited to go back to the corporate world working as a programmer but may have to because I'm not producing money right now. My wife has a good job so I can theoretically not work for a long time. So I guess my question is what should I do? My father tells me to buy investment real estate and collect rent - but I think NYC/NJ real estate is overpriced. My father bought a building for 30K in brooklyn in the 1970's which is now worth about a million and netting around 60K - 70K a year. So he's a big proponent of real estate. I've actually thought of relocating somewhere cheap like Texas - buy a house with cash for 200K-300K and then trade with whatever money is left over(and not have to pay state taxes with investment gains). At least I'll know that I own something tangible and that it's not wildly overpriced like in the NYC metro area. Some other questions I have are - Where do people generally place their sell stops? 5% 10% 15% below? I guess it depends on beta- volatility and personal tolerance levels? I guess beta would apply to targets, exits too? Should I use trailing stops instead? Does it make any sense to trade futures? Commodity futures seems a lot more efficient compared to commodity etfs but I'd rather not touch margin accounts. All my accounts are cash. My friend got wiped out with margin twice although I think I would have more self control. We have a broker that's been hounding us to buy the past few weeks and get us into a managed account - I can't stand those assholes so don't suggest to me to get one(even if they're right once in a while). Although I do agree with him that I need to diversify soon. I'm still convinced though that SPY is topping right now. Any advice (even critical)would be greatly appreciated.