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Special Report

Morningstar's Guide to Market Volatility

For investors of all stripes, we offer our best ideas on how to take control of your portfolio in turbulent times.

Uncertainty has returned to the stock market. Investors often hear that they should tune out the market's noise and not pay attention to market turbulence. But tuning out can be hard to do--and in some cases, it could be a mistake.

In fact, Morningstar's director of personal finance Christine Benz suggests that investors who are nearing or in retirement should use market volatility as an impetus to re-examine their portfolios. No, she doesn't advise that everyone move entirely to cash. But she does suggest that retirees and the near-retired check up on their asset allocations and consider their withdrawal rates, among other things.

What about accumulators who have decades before they retire? Of course, younger investors have more time to make up for any stock-market losses. But if you're spooked by the market's volatility, there are some things you can do.

Here are some of our best ideas for taking control of your portfolio in turbulent times.

Your Market Downturn Tool Kit
Knocking off these investment jobs will keep you focused on the big picture.

What to Do (and Not Do) in a Volatile Market
Christine Benz discusses how investors should handle the turmoil, whatever the life stage.

4 Ways to Turn a Down Market to Your Advantage
Christine Benz Offers some practical things that investors can do in this market uncertainty.

Risk, Not Volatility, Is the Real Enemy
Grant us investors the wisdom to know the difference.

When Standing Pat Doesn't Sit Well
A hands-off policy for your portfolio amid market volatility is usually the best advice, but there are exceptions to that rule.

A Down-Market Survival Guide for Preretirees
If you're within 10 years of retirement, this eight-step review can help you improve your situation--and your peace of mind.  

A Down-Market Survival Guide for Your 20s, 30s, and 40s
When you have many years until retirement, market volatility should be easy to shrug off, but it isn't always. A step-by-step guide to taking control.

A Down-Market Survival Guide for Retirees  
These six steps can help you take back control in uncertain times.

Retirees: Avoid These Traps in Turbulent Markets
Recent volatility provides a good reason for retirees to check up on their portfolios--but don't overdo it.

The Time Is Right to De-Risk Your Retirement Portfolio
For pre-retirees and retirees, the risk of standing pat with a too-heavy portfolio mix outweighs the downside of exiting stocks too early.

A 7-Point Risk Drill for Your Portfolio
A calmer market provides the ideal backdrop for a systematic checkup on your portfolio's risk factors.

How to Reduce Risk in Your Portfolio Using a Light Touch 
If market volatility is making you anxious, Christine Benz offers some ways to reduce risk in your portfolio without derailing your long-term plan.

Emotional Investing: What It Costs, and What to Do About It
It's gets expensive when investors sell during downturns, research shows.

3 Charts That Show Why Investors Should Stay the Course Throughout Market Turmoil
What we've learned about sticking out bear markets, avoiding short-term losses, and not trying to time the market.