You can tell a lot by the difference between being a "Phillip" and being a "Phil". Phil you can have a beer and a laugh with....Phillip not so much.
But back on topic, the market remains a decent option for a minimum 20 year experience (better 30-40 with a consistent monthly installment), you'll get a fairly steady rise over decades. You just have to suck it up and ignore the downs, knowing that it will come back in 5-10 years to where it was, and rise some too. I've lived through the dotcom fiasco, and the 2008 debacle. Lost about 30-40% each time.
Less than 20 years, it's gambling on one or two presidencies, which can be good or bad.
I've been doing it since 1983, and I've got almost +200% back on my money. That's down to about 5-6% per year. Not great, but it adds up. If you consistently put 50-100 bucks in per month, for 30 years, you'll be OK. Plus you always grab the maximum matching $ from the employer, that's big.
There are very unusual genius types who have weird insights, to the dynamics of the market and individual companies, and they can actually pile up the money regularly. And that person is not us, so you have to rely on slow, steady methods.
The other huge tactic is to know when to pull your grubstake out of the market. You don't want it in there much after 60 years old. If you take a big lick like the dotcom or 2008, you probably won't get it back while you're alive.
You may not want to go full gold-silver, but if you just put it into some pure savings vehicle, it's there for drawdown until you're gone. Just don't park it with some crook or flimsy, weak bank. That's the last thing to avoid, lol.