No. of Recommendations: 3
I apologize, I skipped over your initial inquiry:

any thoughts on products that supposedly provide a hedge against stock market downturns.

You could buy deep out of the money S&P puts or S&P leaps puts based on the percentage you would be willing to lose before the S&P hits your strike price.

The deeper, the cheaper, but the more you would have to lose before the put would be exercised. The goal, of course, is for the put to expire worthless so this is a form of insurance, just like other insurance, for which you never want to have to file a claim - and the more expensive the insurance, the better coverage.

If you hold individual stocks, you can also use trailing stop loss orders.
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