However, I am mildly curious how those in the know "make a killing" in a short term crash blip.
You said it yourself (though backwards in this case): sell high, buy low
My pretty conservative portfolio of mostly ETFs and bank stocks was down around 3% in 2 days, and has now recovered over 3% in 2 days. Had I sold my entire portfolio Thursday then bought it all back late Monday, I would be up 6% in 4 days. That's a year's worth of earnings on a conservative portfolio in under a week. Yeah, I'd call that a killing!
But anybody with that kind of market timing wouldn't waste their time on conservative ETFs. Play the options game and you could easily leverage a 3% market swing into a monster profit (or play it badly and lose it all, which is why I don't hold options beyond the ones I am granted through work).
Anyhow, the market seems to have settled down, and after a couple days of regret at not being more proactive, my laziness has rewarded me with being right back where I was this time last week. I can live with that personally. After some of the earlier posts here I was disappointed not to see somebody on here claiming to have timed the spike (after the fact of course) and made a fistful of cash. Surprise, it seems like the only folks left on this thread are actually investors, not "traders"!