Investors: Expect Volatility, Continued Uncertainty

Even as fiscal-cliff hope grows, unanswered questions will keep investors on edge.

Seesaw sign at a playground
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[Read: Is the Economic Recovery Real?]

According to Kirchenbauer, there are a growing number of positive economic trends, and consumers are generally feeling better about the direction of the market. But a clear course toward greener pastures is far away. "The trends are moving the right direction—they're just moving very slowly. It's not quick enough for all of these people who have been out of work. And we have businesses sitting on their hands ... A year from now, we'll have a much better sense of where we're going," she says.

But Kirchenbauer adds that many of her clients are moving forward with life plans that have been on hold due to the tepid economic recovery. "In general, consumers are spending. We're moving on with our lives. The investor and the consumer are fed up with the slow recovery," she says. 

Her advice for them: "Focus on what you can control. You can control your spending. You can control your job choices. You can decide to start a family. Trying to figure out where the tax code is going to be and where the market will go is impossible."