The Stock Market: Your Crash Plan

Here's how to protect your profits, and get ready for new bargains, if the stock market slides

The only circuit breakers most people care about are the ones in their basement. But there are circuit breakers on Wall Street too, and they've been updated to handle more juice--just in time, apparently, given the electrifying volatility we saw last week. The new breakers are intended to give investors ample time to calm down and think when the market slides 10% or more in a day. But don't wait until that day to consider what you'll do. Take the hint: exchange officials have overhauled their crash plan; so should you.

I'm not suggesting anything dramatic. Patient, long-term ownership of stocks...

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