On the whole "volatility doesn't matter" thing: Yes, it does.
Imagine if you had a guarantee that your stocks or silver or whatever would be worth in ten years at least what they are worth today. They can't go down.
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on Winding Roads
Lower market risk makes you feel more comfortable about taking risk in other areas, and rightly so. People even pay for this privilege: it's called a put option, a form of financial insurance.
If you had a strategy that could keep you out of high-volatility periods of the market, would you use it?
That's what trend-following, a form of momentum trading, does. The market tends to have high volatility when it's going down. Momentum strategies avoid being in the market during those times.