Recently I had a client call in to sell his position in a fertilizer stock in which he made a 20% profit. His reason for selling was that the stock showed signs of weakness and he thought the Federal Reserve speech might spook the market into a downtrend. Fair enough. A few hours later I had a different client call to buy the same stock, saying he saw signs of weakness and thought it might be a good time to buy the stock. Plus, he thought the Fed speech might be positive and give the markets a boost. Two smart guys with totally different opinions. The experience reinforced my belief that most investors don’t know a thing about the markets. Trying to guess the short-term direction of a stock is usually a losing proposition. I’ve been thinking for the last few hours about what strategy a moderately conservative investor could use to seek out some growth in their portfolio without taking on too much risk. The below strategies should help you mitigate risk and hopefully teach you a thing or two about the movement of stocks.