I am only interested in CEF's, ETF's, or mutual funds. I am a fairly avid investor that has lost the taste for individual stocks.I want to address this sentiment that I am sure is not unique to this reader. First off I am not critical of this type of sentiment but it is worth exploring. I assume there is a lot of emotion behind the comment, I could be wrong though. In all likelihood an investor can get to where they need to get be without any individual stocks.
I am not an all or nothing type of investor though and I don't think that someone with a clearly visible risk aversion like the above reader should be all or nothing either. The fact is there are plenty of somewhat mature companies that have long long track records of low beta growth. One example would be a company like Johnson Controls (JCI). In addition to vast outperformance of the SPX, JCI has increased its dividend for about 40 years in a row. I don't own this now but I have owned it in the past and may own it again. There really are dozens of stocks like this. Owning a few names in like this in a portfolio of CEFs and ETFs is not taking undue risk. To be clear I am not talking about Infospace or OSI Pharma.
The point is, and I have made it here before, is that dividends have historically accounted for 40% of historical returns and most CEFs and ETFs don't have very high yields. Even the DVY ETF, which I own and think is a great ETF, only yields in 3's. There are many stocks that yield more than 4% in sectors like utilities, telecom and foreign financials that a portfolio of just ETFs and CEFs doesn't capture.
To this reader I would say to explore why you feel the way that you do and study a few stocks that fit the general description of JCI, that is long, successful track record of growth and dividend increases. The fact is very few stocks go out of business. If you revisit the notion of owning stocks and still decide not for me, fine but revisit the idea again in another two years or so.