By Mark McLaughlin, special to CNBC
NEW YORK (CNBC) --The stock market volatility of the past several months looks like it could stick around for a while, forcing investors to be ever more vigilant about how to position their portfolios.
"Stay defensive, be in low beta stocks, and achieve returns through dividends," counsels Mark Tepper, a financial advisor with Strategic Wealth Partners in Seven Hills, Ohio.
Dividend-paying stocks are one of the more popular recipes for coping with uncertainty. U.S. companies are hoarding cash, making quarterly dividend payments to shareholders currently a much more reliable source of returns than capital appreciation.
Yet rapid sentiment shifts and potential bursts to the upside could leave buy-and-hold dividend investors flat-footed, says Ben Sullivan of Palisades Hudson Financial Group in Scarsdale, N.Y."High dividend stocks may be seen as more stable, but they will not grow as quickly in a recovery,'' Sullivan says. "[If you] try to defend against one thing right now, you position yourself for future failure."
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