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(Ece Savas/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A five point plan for cautious investors

Are you a conservative, long-term investor concerned about an impending correction? Yes? Your priorities should be as follows:

Understand that the global stock market surge of the past year or two has pushed returns well above their long-term averages:
Data from investment dealer Edward Jones shows that U.S. large-cap stocks had a return of 32.4 per cent last year, compared to an annualized five-year gain of almost 18 per cent. That 18-per-cent number itself has been inflated by the strong recent results, but it still serves to show that the market’s 2013 returns are way beyond the usual.