I'm going to play a little devil's advocate on both sides here. I think I have done about as well as the best of em in this crash percentage wise. But here's some tidbits people from both sides seem to neglect.
1) When anyone comes on here claiming they no something they know nothing. The smartest guy is the one who knows he knows nothing but does the best with the knowledge he gains.
2) Anyone who comes on here wanting you to buy or sell has his/her own agenda....period. Why would I EVER tell a bunch of people I don't know to buy or sell? In this case, the poster seems to act like he wants to help. Of course, if I sell...someone has to buy my shares and if it tanks, it just means someone else gets screwed. So who has this do gooder really helped? That's right, himself buy getting more shares to drive the price his/her way.
3)That being said. I have been playing the market for the past 8 months pretty heavily. The market has majorly risen and fallen 14 times that I counted by more than 1000 points in a few short days. This last one has been the strangest, I'll admit. But with the basics of the economy (jobs and production and shipping) numbers screwed...you better believe there will be a 15. and every single one of those 14 times, there are people with all kinds of opinions, but the fundamentals drove the market down and led lots of lambs to slaughter.
4)Don't get greedy. If you don't want to deal with volatility...don't buy individual stocks. This last time around I bought most my picks when the dow was 6500. Watched my portfolio tank when it went to 6000 and just sold them all today. I did not hit the bottom, nor did I hit the top. But I made money. Had I played all 14 bounces perfectly, I'd be retired. But paying off my house will be good enough. Maybe for you buying a new suit is good enough. Don't get greedy.
5) One stock should not be tied to another like they are in todays market. When you stay with one bank because of the success of other banks, you will soon part with your money. Wells Fargo makes a ton of money so all banks go up? That only happens in a panicked market like this one when bets are being hedged. Soon the winners will take over and the losers will crash, as they should, based on their actual performance.
6) It surprises me how much people take long and short positions like it is a religion or political party. Play the way that makes you money period. Let the people who bet the wrong way buy your next car. I will say trying to destroy a company for profit is wrong, but punishing a poorly performing company is necessary. Otherwise, we get stocks that go higher and higher and higher for no real darned reason and then shit hits the fan and we all pay....now didn't we?