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Stay calm on investments

Many of us have little detailed, direct control over our investments.

For most people, those funds are locked in 401K funds and other instruments through which we save money for retirement. That means other people make most of the decision for us.

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

Blame COVID-19, otherwise known as “the coronavirus.” The illness emerged in China and has spread to countries around the globe, sometinnes with deadly results.

The possibility of a crippling worldwide epidemic has made some investors jittery.

Financial experts have stressed, though. that this type of reactionary market jolt has always been temporary.

“This kind of ‘panic’ is uncommon,” Walker Holloway, certified financial planner and first vice president at Hazlett, Burt & Watson in Wheeling, said. “We don’t have pandemics every day. What we’ve been telling people is — it’s not a good idea to take drastic measures — you buy low and sell high.

“If you look over the long run, the stock market has always rebounded from these kind of ‘pull-backs.’ This happens from time to time. It’s part of the risk that’s involved in investing.”

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.

You may want to give your financial adviser a call, if you use one for your investments. He or she can provide advice on 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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