Fiscal cliff negotiations continued Thursday, but with Republicans not budging on their staunch opposition to raising taxes, and Democrats refusing any deal that doesn't include higher taxes, hopes for a compromise by year's end have waned.
Investors are worried, and rightly so.
In fact, the Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index turned in a score of -8 in November, down from double-digit positive readings in early 2012. That means investors polled are back to being as pessimistic about the investing climate as they were a year ago when Washington was battling over the debt ceiling.
About 70% of investors polled said the fiscal cliff was already slowing the economy, and feared a deep recession would hit in 2013 if the economy fell off the cliff.
With no deal in sight, here's how investors can prepare for falling off the fiscal cliff.