Advice on virus and finances: Remain calm

Many of us have little detailed, direct control over our investments, which are in 401(k) funds and other instruments through which we save money for retirement.

But for those who can and do make regular decisions on how their money is invested, this has not been a pleasant week. One headline sums it up: Stock market takes worst dive since 2008.

Blame COVID-19, otherwise known as “the coronavirus.” The possibility of a crippling worldwide epidemic has made some investors jittery.

This is no time to panic, however. As both local and national investment professionals point out, the U.S. economy — and thus, most companies in it — remains strong. In most ways, stocks are worth the same prices for which they were selling a month ago.

The stock market rallied Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 5% — its best day in a decade. But it backslid by 2.9% Tuesday.

It’s too soon to call where these ups and downs will lead us. You may want to give your financial adviser a call, if you use one for investments. They can provide advice in weathering the storm.

The key is to remain calm and not make rash, spur-of-the-moment decisions, however. We’ll get through this.


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