Volatility hasn't crept back into the markets; it has jumped back in. The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak has sent stocks lurching over the past week. And in the face of such huge market swings, investors sometimes make rash decisions that can ultimately harm their portfolios. That's where exchange-traded funds can help - specifically, low-volatility ETFs.
Big declines trigger fear, and that fear will be even more elevated when it's triggered by something like a genuine health crisis. People don't want to lose money, and they certainly don't want to lose more money than they already have. While you should always be looking for stocks to sell as a matter of regular portfolio maintenance, if you panic-sell, you risk throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
In many cases, investors who jettison their stocks en masse on the way down cement their losses while leaving themselves out of the recovery.
Here are 10 low-volatility ETFs that might help ward off this instinct and lessen your pain. Low-vol (and "min-vol") funds use different strategies in the name of providing portfolios that are more stable than the broader market. That not only helps muffle losses during downturns, but the reduction in volatility can give you a little peace of mind and let you participate in an eventual bounce-back. Take a look.
SEE ALSO: The 20 Best ETFs to Buy for a Prosperous 2020
The COVID-19 coronavirus is making its way across the world. The outbreak began at the end of 2019 in Wuhan, China; it has killed roughly 2,500 people, infected more than 83,000 people overall and spread to nearly 50 countries, including the U.S., since then.
The coronavirus has now passed the 2002-03 SARS and 2015 MERS outbreaks in scale, and that has triggered heavy selling: Stock indices around the world, including here at home, have been sent into correction territory. Numerous stock picks are already in bear markets.
It's no small worry. The SARS outbreak tallied 774 deaths across more than 8,000 cases over a six-month period, yet helped knock China's GDP down from 11.1% in the first quarter of 2003 to 9.1% in the second quarter. The coronavirus's ultimate potential to disrupt the global economy is far worse.
This health issue is weighing on most stocks, but it's cutting particularly deep into a few specific industries where the financial strain is already being felt. If there's any silver lining, it's that, like with SARS, this could end up being an opportunity to buy otherwise high-quality stocks at a discount for a potential snap-back.
Here, we look at 13 stock picks that are being hammered by the coronavirus outbreak. These stocks might be best avoided until a clearer picture of the coronavirus's eventual fallout develops. But they eventually might be extremely attractive buy-the-dip prospects.
SEE ALSO: 11 Best Stocks to Ride Out the Coronavirus Outbreak
When spring is in the air, it's time to put away those winter sweaters and pull out your summery shorts. It's also a great time to clean your financial house, casting aside old habits and starting new ones.
So, as flowers begin to bloom and birds return to their nests, give yourself a fresh financial start, too. Here are nine ways to clear the cobwebs from your wallet and get your financial plan neat and tidy for 2020.
Written by Salene Hitchcock-Gear, president of Prudential Individual Life Insurance, which includes Prudential Advisors.