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Stocks fell so fast today – 7% in less than an hour after markets opened – trading was halted for 15 minutes. To many outside observers, that might look like the stock market crashed, but a trading halt is actually designed to prevent a market crash.
A stock market crash is when stocks drop 10% or more in two trading days. We aren't there yet. The S&P 500 is down 6.8% since Thursday's close. But that doesn't mean there's no cause for concern.
Stocks are down over 16.8% from their February highs, which is officially a stock market correction. If stocks hit the 20% mark from highs, then we'll officially enter a bear market.
Of course, if you've watched your 401(k) and retirement accounts lose 17% of their value in a matter of days, you don't care what the experts call it.
What you do next is the most important factor here – not whether this is officially a stock market crash or not.
We know this is a time of uncertainty. Watching your money evaporate is nauseating.
Fortunately, you are in control.
Here are three things you can do right now to protect yourself and set up your portfolio for the rebound…