Investing can be tough at the best of times, let alone when the market appears to be stuck in freefall mode.

It’s been a terrible start to the year for share markets around the world which have been punished due to investor uncertainty, a slowdown in China’s economy and plunging oil prices.

Indeed, Australia’s own S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has fallen roughly 9% since the beginning of the year, and fell into official bear territory during the week.

Like I said, investing can be tough, even for some of the most experienced investors. After all, no one likes losing money – that’s certainly not why we’re investing!

But not surprisingly, all investors enjoy making money – and that’s why it’s important to keep your cool while others in the market get caught up in the panic.

The fact is these times can also be when the big profits are made – when high-quality businesses are thrown out with the bathwater.

Of course, that doesn’t mean buying any old company whose shares have fallen.

The big four banks, for instance, are widely regarded as being great businesses, and although they’ve all fallen into bear territory as well, I believe their shares are still overvalued based on their growth prospects.

Same goes for the miners, and the energy producers. Many of them are trading at their lowest prices in more than a decade, yet further declines in commodity prices could see them fall even further.

While these are the two sectors causing much of the damage locally, there are plenty of other great companies which have been sold off, perhaps unnecessarily.

Here are three you could consider buying today:

Telstra Corporation Ltd’s (ASX: TLS) share price is sitting roughly on par with where it was at the beginning of 2016, but shares have fallen more than 14% since early August.

Telstra isn’t a perfect company: some people complain about their customer service, while others were left without phone or data services on their mobiles earlier this week due to an “embarrassing human error”.

While it mightn’t be perfect however, it is a huge company with strong cash flows, an otherwise great reputation for mobile services and it is growing into other key markets. Its shares are also trading on an attractive 5.5% fully franked dividend yield.

Retail Food Group Limited (ASX: RFG) is another company that should at the least be on your watchlist – particularly if its shares fall any further than their current price level.

The master franchisor owns brands such as Gloria Jean’s, Crusts Pizza and Donut King, with much of its growth funded by the franchisees themselves (RFG also gets to enjoy a slice of all of those franchisees’ revenues, providing a very nice income stream).

With the potential to grow locally as well as internationally, Retail Food Group could be a great bet for long-term capital gains. Better yet, investors can enjoy a slice of their earnings while they wait with the company offering a tasty 6% fully franked dividend yield.

Westfield Corp Ltd (ASX: WFD) shares have actually risen since the beginning of the year, but are still hovering below their November 2015 high at just $9.62.

The company owns and operates Westfield-branded shopping centres in the United States and United Kingdom, and is thus exposed to their recovering economies. Better yet, local shareholders get to enjoy the benefits of a weaker Australian dollar when earnings results come around.

Westfield Corp could provide your portfolio with more core strength, while its shares are also trading on an attractive 3.7% dividend.

Notably, all of these shares could fall below their current levels, and therefore shouldn’t be looked at as opportunities to make a quick buck. However, their long-term potential seems very reasonable, and an investment at lower share prices certainly seems appealing.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman owns shares of Retail Food Group Limited. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ASXvalueinvest.

The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Retail Food Group Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.