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Afraid of the stock market? You're not alone.

By Dian Vujovich

Funny thing about the stock market, when it’s soaring everybody loves equities and can’t wait to chat about its bounty even if they’re not investors. When the market hits the skids, however, and prices slide around like a goose on ice, everyone grouses. And with good reason: It takes time for stock prices to get back up and stabilize.

Believe in what survey’s show and most individual investors—like 58 percent—have lost faith in the stock market, according to a recent survey from Prudential Financial. Worse yet, nearly half questioned said that they probably wouldn’t put any more money into the market.

I can understand their thinking but can’t help but wonder if they really mean it and if that’s a wise move.
After all, creating a solid and fat retirement nest egg takes some doing even for those with six-figure incomes.

The survey, The Next Chapter: Meeting Investment & Retirement Challenges, also showed that 73 percent thought their current investments won’t make up for the losses experienced over the last two years. And, that they’ve basically changed their investment approach becoming more conservative in their choices.

I can understand that thinking too but can’t help wonder about what kind of long-term results conservative investments will yield. That said, 60 percent of those surveyed said they are looking for “guarantees to protect their financial future.”

Well, good luck with that one. As anyone who has ever paid attention to the markets knows: The stock market has never ever been a place to go for those seeking guaranteed returns.Risk, simply put, is part of the deal.

Insurance companies have some products with guarantees but there’s more to these products that investors need to be mindful of before investing.

So if stocks scare you and bonds are yielding little, cash next to nothing and prices on residential and commercial real estate tanking, what are investors to do?

Save like a squirrel preparing for a very long and bone-chillingly cold winter until they’ve build up a cadre of cash. Then, parcel it out and invest wisely knowing farewell that all investments come with risks. Some are simply riskier than others.

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