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It’s beginning to get a tad bit spooky out there. We’re not talking just about the pumpkins, ghosts, goblins and other scary things that come out at Halloween. October is frightening for another reason. And it begins with a capital ‘V.’

October has a connotation for being one of the most volatile months when it comes to investing and, so far, this year the month is living up to its spooky persona. It’s only about a week in and we’ve already seen some big swings and losses for the broader averages.

Given the high valuations and big gains for the market of the last few years, this could spell some decent trouble for our portfolios entering the fourth quarter.

All in all, we could be looking at a bumpy ride and some hefty losses if history is any guide. The time to ease up on risk and prepare for a downturn could be now.

Use the Dividend Screener to find high-quality dividend stocks based upon 16 parameters. You can even screen stocks within different industries such as technology. Stocks with the highest DARS ratings are Dividend.com’s current recommendations to investors.

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