Eleven Ways to Avoid a Stock Market Crash

May has come and gone, and at least so far it looks as though the “Sell in May and Go Away!” theme did not materialize in 2014. Of those who responded to our poll, some 58% said not to sell in May and only 27% said to sell. The S&P 500 Index hit a new all-time high at the end of May. So, what do investors do if they are nervous that a peak has come? Worse, what if the stock market were to crash?

24/7 Wall St. has made a mid-2014 assessment of the markets for investors who want to stay in longer but who also want to not get caught if the stock market suddenly plunges.

Most investors make money in up-markets, but even most equity hedge funds and professional money managers lose money in down markets. The real question that needs to be asked now is how to protect your money against a market crash, while still looking for upside if the bull market continues its charge in 2014.

What if stocks fall 10%, or 20%, in a short time? Many market pundits have said that the stock market needs to sell off — and we have not had a major pullback in more than two years. The bottom of the market was back in March of 2009, so we are 63 months into the rally, and the S&P 500 is nearing a 200% gain from that March 2009 low.

A 10% drop is considered a market correction. A 20% correction would be back in bear market territory again. If either comes about, the doomsday financial market pundits would get to be relevant again. So, what are some strategies to avoid a major bear market for investors who still want upside from stocks?

Here are 11 quick hit strategies that investors can use to shield themselves from a stock market crash while keeping their toes in the water if the rally continues.

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