Five years after the financial crisis, many advisors are still wondering how they might have averted the calamitous portfolio tumble their clients experienced in 2008 and early 2009. From its peak in 2007 to its March 2009 nadir, the S&P 500 fell 57%.

Was there a way to have shorted equities as volatility rose, for instance, going long on Treasuries and gold? And, perhaps more important: Were there signals suggesting that the time was right for these actions?

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