I have invested once, in mutual funds, and made money. Then I predicted we would need perpetual motion to stay above 18,000 points. Then the stocks dived.
My continuing prediction is that there is a lot of market potential, but it will be hard to sustain progress. The market depends on progress. Progress is not impossible, but it requires more than just banks and (ongoing, appropriate) interest from investors. It requires an interest in new markets, new products, and new services.
Consider the possibility that everyone is just reacting what is largely a failure in robotics. Robotics is now for the military and for kids toys. It's largely not for Starbucks or sex. Perhaps this is a failure of marketing, but it is clear that it is a market failure.
My advice is that there should be more focus on new markets, more focus on information-based research and development, and reasonable interest in responsible investing. Then, we should edge towards 18,000 again. It may be sooner than you think, but it depends on more than just investing. It depends on action! People have grown lazy. They think it's not about business. But it IS about business. It's about the future of information. It's about an admittedly delusional, over-stimulated society. It's perfect for floating new deals, but it's not great at withstanding new impacts. New impacts are out. New markets are in.
That's my crazy advice as a sometime successful investor. I haven't ever lost money. Not everyone can say that.
International Society for the Philosophy of Architecture » Ethics and Aesthetics of Architecture and the Environment