First of all, staking implies the responsibility to choose which pool operator to trust with your money, which has power in the consensus, you give your vote to have more strength to validate blocks.
If you want Cardano to remain safe and profitable, for you and for everyone, delegating is the only alternative. It suits you, and it suits all of us.
Delegating from your non-custodial wallet, be it Yoroi, Daedalus or AdaLite, is the right alternative, because you can choose any pool, and you keep your ADAs in your possession. Exchanges that allow you to delegate do not give you the keys, they are the owners and choose which pool (usually their own). If you have more cryptocurrencies, leave them in multi-crypto wallets, or in their official ones, but your ADAs, you know.
Small stake pools are as safe as any of the big ones, nobody is going to touch or do anything with your ADAs, ever. You hold the keys and can change or even spend your funds at any time. There are no deadlines or staking locks on funds.
You will not become wealthier by delegating to a large pool.
The difference in return (ROS) after months, are minimal or non-existent, most pools tend to 5.5% per year, (unless the pool never signs blocks).
The difference in ROS is felt in each epoch, large pools charge stable rewards, and small pools charge variable rewards, as in some epochs they are higher than average.
Changing pools often looking for better rewards is not a good idea, because you will lose the “peaks” of rewards of the small pool, (it is like changing the cashier’s line, and see that the one you were in, now, advances faster, and you change again, and so you lose rewards).
The big stake pools are the ones that usually have their delegation saturated, or close to it (you will get less rewards in that case), and usually divide their consensus and delegators, creating another new stake pool to avoid being saturated. What do you gain from it? Nothing, because if you chose to delegate to small pools you would not be worried about saturation, and you would have to be alert to change pools.
Pool operators who are well known (influencers), bring nothing but notoriety and the ego to allow you to say “oh, I delegate to the best known pool in the world”.
The best stake pool to delegate to is the one that lets you “sleep easy”, medium or small, not saturated or close to it. The good pool operator is the one that has frequent contact with its delegating community through its social networks, attends to your personal doubts, issues communications on the status of the node, information on the technology used to connect, if it keeps the necessary software versions updated in the node, the number of relays used (connection with cloud servers), among other issues.
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