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Stock price fluctuations in the first quarter of the new millennium are the most volatile since 1938. These shifts -- and the resulting media attention -- have caused uneasiness among many investors.
Prior to these recent price shifts, the market enjoyed unusually steady returns, and many investors were lulled into a state of complacency. For example, the S&P 500 gained more than 37.5 percent in 1995 -- without a single correction of more than 2.5 percent.
However, volatility is a normal part of investing -- and while large drops in market values can inspire a case of jitters, they also can signal opportunity.
In fact, risk and potential return go …