I know there's a good mix of bulls, bears and in-betweeners here. Regardless. Does anyone else see things as being as murky as I do? I feel that if I am not achieving a consistent 3% on my money a month, I am actually losing ground, and that if I try to achieve 3%+, I am forcing myself to take on a level of risk I find disconcerting. Here are the risks as I see them, putting pressure on me, not necessarily in order of priority: 1) Inflation 2) Lack of volatility 3) Slowing earnings 4) Mixed economic picture 5) Interest rate uncertainties - exacerbated by foreign market interest rate divergences 6) Foreign markets seems to be performing better, but are also more volatile and susceptible to sharp downturns (I know, that's redundant) 7) Commodity pricing gone wild 8) Increasingly complex financial engineering and financial/leverage/hedge products to try and incorporate into trading and investment strategy 10) Definite housing correction that may spill over into consumer spending 11) Manufacturing weakness 12) Information overload Am I alone in feeling overwhelmed lately? I know the simple strategy would be to catch a ride on index funds and just tag along, with stops in place, but where's the outsized reward profile in that?