By Ann-Marie Laird
Chief Financial Officer
Many people are questioning the uncertainty of the stock market and what it means for their 401(k) or retirement savings. While it can be easy to fall into a panic, experts urge to remain calm and remember the long-term horizon of your savings. The best thing is to do nothing. You do not want to make decisions based on short-term stock market volatility that will have long-term risks on your financial future. Selling stocks low makes the loss permanent and unpredictable to buy again at just the right time. The loss in value reflects a decline in asset prices not a true loss in your account. You don’t want to sell when assets are at the bottom of the market.
It may be hard to do but do not check your balance every day. The market is actually exactly where it was four years ago. If you were 20 years away from retirement last month you are now 19 years and 11 months away from retirement now. Your picture has not changed and you must focus on the long term. Think in terms of years not weeks. As a rule of thumb, you should not have money in stocks that you’re going to need for the next seven to ten years. The markets will turn around soon and fast!