These are really not exotic financial instruments. Professionals have been applying them to reduce risk in portfolio planning for decades. Being conservative brings its own set of risks to a portfolio. Investments in bonds and equities alone may seem conservative but both are subject to their own market fluctuations.
Using options, futures and forex in the right ratios along with equities can provide significant income as well as providing hedges against declines from bull markets. Understanding the math behind the investment products is used in "Engineered Investing", the creation of high probability outcomes in any market direction. It's capital at work.