Why does Wall Street hate me? Because I tell the truth and truth is something they can't abide. The little guy (that's someone with less than a 7-figure account) gets no real help. Every small investor is a Rodney Dangerfield. If Joe Sixpack happens to make a few bucks they will take credit for helping him, but when he loses his money as he did in the bear market of 2000 - 2002 that is not their fault. The little guy with the $5,000-$50,000 account could have been saved and his losses kept at about 10% if the moguls in New York had instructed their brokers how to protect customer's funds. It is not done and has never been done.
Don't look to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for help. Instead they are trying to regulate the hedge funds which are playgrounds for the multirich. What nonsense. Let the rich take care of themselves. Today 50% of all home owners own stocks and/or mutual funds either individually or in a tax shelter such as a 401K. About 80% of these plans have less than $50,000 and no one is looking after them. I mean no one. People at work think they have a money manager and what they really have is a money mangler. They have no idea what to do when the bear returns - as it is now.
These manglers have no experience with bear markets and have never seen one. The drop in 2000 of 78% by the NASDAQ was laid to speculation when it was actually the first phase of a 16 year long bear market. Did they protect the guy who was NOT speculating? No. Because they didn't know how and still don't. Has any Wall Street firm held a single seminarto teach their brokers how to protect customer's money? Not one that I know of. You have to it yourself because your broker is ignorant.
During the next major down swing the safest place for investor money is not in the stock market. It is in a U.S. Treasury bond (no other kind) or a big bank CD. Brokers are taught to tell you you can't afford to be out of the market. Of course not because they don't make any money when you are in cash. Cash at zero percent will have a greater return over the next 2 years than any stock or mutual fund. See if you can get that kind of guarantee from your broker. You can't. You and only you can protect your money. Don't rely on your smooth talking broker. You must now decide before it is too late how much you are willing to risk. If your account is $50,000 would about $5,000 or 10% be as much as you are willing to give back? Whatever amount you set then tell your broker you want a stop loss order entered. He won't like it, but that is his job. Do not let ignorance steal your money.