The S&P 500 is up an impressive 13% so far this year … so why is it so difficult to feel at ease right now?
The macroeconomic picture is far from clear. China’s slowing. Europe has gotten a quick lift from an ECB bond-buying plan, but slow economic growth still weighs heavily. The American recovery’s tepidness is being played out through a mix of good and bad news.
The latest sad-sack headline was a weak outlook from FedEx (NYSE:FDX), which cited global weakness for its woes. Technically, things don’t look much better in the short run, even if the long-term bull market stays intact. And let’s not forget: When it comes to the markets, September sucks.
So what should mutual fund investors do if they think the bear is coming?
Many have been moving out of equity mutual funds, especially ones focusing on U.S. stocks. But considering a downturn isn’t exactly guaranteed, perhaps a better stance would be to get defensive with more conservative funds. Here’s a look at five such mutual funds you can crouch behind in case things get ugly: