Street paper (stocks)? Right now it might be hard to trust either. But there is an upside to this economic mess if you plan strategically, and treat both types of paper like Indy car tires that need to be changed out in a pit stop from time to time when their usefulness is spent. During the course of this race, which I will map out for you in detail after an introduction, there are only two simple pit stops before the final finish.
There is a raging debate going on amongst economists, both of the Keynesian and Austrian persuasions, as to whether the economic slump is leading us toward a true deflation or an eventual hyperinflation. If the economy is mimicking the Great Depression, is one argument, then cash is king, and dollars (the reserve currency of the world) are where you should be vested. Steer clear of the stock market. Wait on the sidelines until market sentiment is so negative that there is a pervasive attitude of apathy and indifference. This will be the turning point, if that can be prognosticated.
The other side of the argument says that no way are we headed for a depression-style deflation, but rather an extremely inflationary environment, the likes of which we have never before beheld (except in third world countries). This is based upon the monetary and fiscal policies that the current administration and their eager counterparts at the Fed are engaging in with their rescue packages, bailouts, economic “stimuli,” and the dreaded last ditch effort of quantitative easing, a.k.a. debt monetization or MCOON (money created out of nothing.