Business

Financial experts advise against panic during uncertainty

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The economic uncertainty on Wall Street has many on Main Street worried about what to do with their stocks, 401ks and other investments.

Wednesday was almost a record-breaking day of losses on Wall Street and financial advisers have three more important words of advice: Do not panic.

It was an eight-day Wall Street drop that barely came to a screeching halt. The ceiling nearly came down in Washington, and now there are discussions of a double-dip recession.

If it sounds, and feels, like you're on a never ending roller coaster ride, you're not alone. That sort of worry has financial planners keeping busy.

"It goes anywhere from, 'should I move everything completely into cash?' to people actually saying 'should I continue working for a few more years?'" said financial planner Julie Asti.

"People are so used to being afraid of the markets, the debt crisis of 2008 is not that far behind, so this is just kind of more of the same," said Cathy Curtis.

But even as the markets just narrowly avoided the longest day-by-day losing streak since 1978, the advice from experts is don't panic and don't sell off all your stock.

"You have to have some investments long-term in the market," said Asti.

Experts say people who are close to retirement should take extra precautions and ideally keep two years worth of income in cash reserves, but the reality on the street is, many people can't afford that, and most people end up watching, waiting and hoping for the best.

"I'm concerned, but I'm just taking my time sticking with things that are good and looking for other opportunities," said Matt Pappas.

But with mounting evidence of a slowing U.S. economy, Curtis says while things may seem bad now, just wait.

"The sad part is the people that don't have jobs and are having a hard time finding work," Curtis said. "It's just going to get worse if we go into a double-dip recession."

Whether there really will be a double-dip recession is up for debate. The White House says there is no threat, but some economists point to slow economic and job growth, and say a double-dip recession may not be far off.

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economy, business, cecilia vega
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