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I have used options but (for me) they do not provide the downside risk protection that one might think. Others may have had better results, but with options you have to watch them very closely. I work so I cannot sit in front of my computer all day.

I do growth investing, and something I have learned to do is to manage my risk by cutting losses quickly. Normally at 8%. It protects against a big drop, and if the stock comes back up then you can always buy it back. Keep in mind I do not buy just any stock, I am looking for stocks with a high probability of breaking higher. Now there is more to this story and I would recommend a book titled "How to Make Money in Stocks" by Willliam O'Neill. You will want to read it several times, but it will help you learn to manage your risk.
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