Since the mid-September pinnacle, however, the pattern has changed. The S&P 500 is now hitting "lower intra-day lows," while struggling to find enough support at the 50-day moving average.

In spite of an increasing amount of uncertainty, the intelligent course is to diversify in the middle of the risk spectrum. Here is where you will find an income stream in low volatility, high-dividend producers.

You'll also find an array of genuine income alternatives to Treasuries, from mortgage-backed bonds to emerging market corporates to non-financial preferreds to higher income yielding partnerships.

Stop-limit loss orders and "stop-gains" should be used for protecting current values on your more aggressive holdings. Meanwhile, use the sell-offs to incrementally acquire several middle-of-the-risk-spectrum ETFs. They have held up far better than the broader S&P 500 since the Sept. 14 peak.

Here are a few and how they have performed between Sept. 14 and Oct. 22.
  • PowerShares Emerging Market Sovereign ( PCY), 2.6%
  • Vanguard Intermediate Corporate ( VCIT), 1.8%
  • First Trust Dividend Leaders ( FDL), 1.8%
  • JP Morgan Alerian MLP ( AMJ), 0.9%
  • SPDR High Yield Corporate ( JNK), 0.0%
  • Market Vectors Preferred Excl Financials ( PFXF), -0.1%
  • iShares Mortgage Backed Bond ETF ( MBB) -0.3%

As a basis of comparision, the S&P 500 was off 2.7% for the period.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Disclosure Statement: ETF Expert is a website that makes the world of ETFs easier to understand. Gary Gordon, Pacific Park Financial and/or its clients may hold positions in ETFs, mutual funds and investment assets mentioned. The commentary does not constitute individualized investment advice. The opinions offered are not personalized recommendations to buy, sell or hold securities. At times, issuers of exchange-traded products compensate Pacific Park Financial or its subsidiaries for advertising at the ETF Expert website. ETF Expert content is created independently of any advertising relationships. You may review additional ETF Expert at the site.

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