By Constance Gustke, special to CNBC
NEW YORK ( CNBC) -- The volatility of recent months may be enough to send the average investor to the sidelines, but pros are quick to remind that it's the ups and downs, not the flat lines, that make money.
"They're there to serve you," says Pat Dorsey, director of research and strategy at Chicago-based Sanibel Captiva Trust Company. "Don't let it scare you or force you out of stocks at the wrong time."
No one's suggesting a day-trader approach, by playing the day-to-day swings, but investors can adjust their portfolios a number of ways to deal with the worst period of volatility since the height of the financial crisis in late 2008.
Tempering portfolios with big-cap stocks in recession-resistant businesses, inverse ETFs that rise when markets fall or even preferred stocks paying high dividends can add some ballast to your portfolio, say analysts. On the risk barometer, they run the gamut from low to high, depending on your stomach.
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