WSJ: How to Play the Five Big 'What Ifs' of 2012


When it comes to investing, 2012 isn't the year to do nothing and just hope for the best.

Yes, there are some mammoth-sized unknowns out there that could hurt your returns. But when the biggest "what ifs" are resolved, you could also profit, if you play it right.

Here's how to tackle the five scenarios that are keeping Wall Street investors awake at night:‬

1 What if Europe gets worse?

No matter how much investors might desire it, Europe's economic mess just won't go away. But the big fear is that it will deteriorate even more before it gets better.

"Europe getting worse is a disaster for everything but the safest investments," says Milton Ezrati, market strategist at Jersey City, N.J.-based money-management firm Lord Abbett.

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