Financial planner says despite the impact of the coronavirus on the stock market, stay calm

Clay Abel says the best thing you can do is talk with your financial advisor for guidance.

VIDEO: Financial planner says despite the impact of the coronavirus on the stock market, stay calm

The coronavirus pandemic doesn't just pose a threat to our health, it's also impacting our money. Those with 401Ks, IRAs, and other types of investments have seen the hit the stock market has taken.

So what should you do, and should you be worried?

A financial planner says there is no need to panic, but it is time to take a look at your investments.

The Dow Jones and S&P 500 are a collection of the largest stocks in the U.S. The way they behave, are an indication of how the overall stock market is doing. And right now, the market is not doing well.

"We don’t know where the bottom is, how long it will take, no one can predict that. But if you’re a long term investor there can be some opportunities that start to come up, financial planner Clay Abel said.

Abel works with Lighthouse Wealth Advisors of Charleston. He has been a financial planner for 10 years.

He says while people with 401ks and other types of retirement plans need to be paying attention, there is no need for drastic decisions.

“The stock market is very forward looking, a lot of what’s happening right now is based on fear of what might happen in the economy, not on what actually has happened yet,” Abel said.

But the fear of an uncertain future has caused a negative reaction in people who invest in the stock market.

“Traders start to get worried and they say businesses are gonna slow down, some will close temporarily so the economy’s gonna slow down some. We don’t want to minimize that, there is a real impact to what happens in business,” Abel said.

So instead of buying stocks in companies we are familiar with like Boeing and Starbucks, traders are selling those stocks for cheap, bringing the market down. But Abel says knowledge is power, so you need to know what types of things your money is invested in.

“You might have a money market fund in your retirement account, you might have a bond fund in your retirement account, they could have a lot of different names, but those are the ones that have grown recently. And so while the stock market may be down, 20 percent at some point, your account might be down a lot less if it has some safer pieces,” Abel said.

If your retirement is 10 or more years away, you’ve got plenty of time for your accounts to recover, and selling now may actually cause you to miss out when it does happen. If you’re looking to retire sooner, or you’ve already retired, talk with your financial advisor about the defensive strategies already in place, and whether any adjustments should be made.