By Justin Spittler, editor, Casey Daily Dispatch

It’s a bloodbath out there.

The S&P 500 has plunged 11.3% this December. That’s good for its worst December since 1931.

It’s also down 15.3% since the start of September… which makes this one of the worst fourth quarters ever for U.S. stocks. See for yourself.

Year Q4 S&P 500 Return Note
1929 -28.9% Great Depression
1937 -23.3% Great Depression
1987 -23.2% Black Monday
2008 -22.6% Global Financial Meltdown
1930 -17.5% Great Depression
1931 -16.4% Great Depression
1941 -14.8% World War II
1932 -14.7% Great Depression
2018 -16.2% Current
1973 -10.0% Energy Crisis

Notice anything about the other sell-offs on this list?

They all occurred during a major economic or financial crisis. In other words, we could be in the middle of something much more serious than a routine correction.

Of course, the past isn’t always prologue. I can’t guarantee that we’ll see a repeat of 2008 or the Great Depression. But I will say this…

It’s better to be prepared for the worst than to be blindsided. So don’t wait for U.S. stocks to fall another 10% or 15% to take precautions. Act today.

Here are four simple ways to do that.

  • Lighten up on your weakest positions. I’m talking about overpriced stocks and heavily leveraged companies. As I’ve said before, these are not what you want to own at this stage in the bull market and economic cycle.

  • Hold extra cash. This will cushion you against big losses should stocks keep falling. It will also give you “dry powder” to buy stocks when the next major buying opportunities arise.

  • Own physical gold. As we often point out, gold is real money. It has preserved wealth for centuries because it’s a unique asset. It’s durable, easily divisible, and easy to transport.

    It has also survived every major financial crisis in history. This makes it the ultimate safe-haven asset. Learn the best ways to buy and store it in our free special report: “The Gold Investor’s Guide.”

  • Read the Ultimate Crisis Playbook. We’ve compiled the best advice from all the editors and analysts from across our business. These are some of the brightest minds on the planet – and every entry is timely and extremely valuable for what lies ahead.

    With 109 pages full of tactical steps from our gurus, this market crash guide is designed not just to help you protect your wealth in the months ahead… but also to prosper. Download yours for free here.

Investors who take these steps will protect their hard-earned capital… and sleep better over the holiday break.

Regards,

Justin Spittler
Medellín, Colombia
December 24, 2018