After a remarkable climb in 2017, the market turned volatile in the first quarter of the new year. The swings were dramatic, including a drop in the Dow of 1,175 points on February 5. The U.S. stock market suffered one of the swiftest 10% slumps in history, and global equities lost $4.2 trillion that week. In terms of dollars, that’s more than the total losses suffered by the Nasdaq when the dotcom bubble burst. What’s next? Nervous investors are looking for signs and signals. Of particular interest will be Q1 profits. Other areas of concern include slower growth in China, tightening monetary policy, trade wars, a spike in wage growth and interest rate hikes. But despite a mountain of forecasting data, the market is unpredictable. A proven investment strategy is still your best defense. More about that after a look at Q1 numbers.