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Let’s not mince words. Down markets are painful and can be downright scary, but they also present unique opportunities to improve your financial situation.

High inflation, historic rate hikes by the Fed and the threat of a recession can all weigh heavily on an investor’s conscience. Meanwhile, uplifting news has felt pretty hard to come by lately. The most recent core CPI reading (opens in new tab) — which excludes food and energy — increased 6.6% year-over-year to a 40-year high, while overall CPI hit 8.2%, recording its seventh consecutive month above 8%.