In this week’s Show Me the Money, throughout the coronavirus pandemic we’ve seen the stock market plummet, then bounce back, only to fall again. Right now, things are headed back up, but what does this roller coaster ride mean for you?

“People really first want to understand what impact the market volatility has had on their investment portfolios, as a whole, in particular some, some people for their retirement accounts. Then they want to think about, well, what should they do next, you know, should they get out of the market. Stop making contributions to the retirement plan, invest more aggressively, or maybe something else.”

Investment consultant Tracy Burke says while you may be concerned, it’s important not to get too caught up in the day to day numbers on Wall Street.

“But the key is, you know, unless you’re really invested in 100% stocks which most people should not be. You would not have lost that much. So that’s the importance of having some money in bonds and your portfolio, because that will provide a cushion and reduce some of those losses,” Burke said.

“We’ve seen the market go up, we’ve seen it go down. It’s pretty volatile. So given that fact should people get out of the stock market right now or should people just ride it out?” James asked.

“Well, the key is naturally we all want to really get out of bad situations and get into good ones, as you just indicated, James, but however, for investing. That’s not a good instinct for investors that would mean really, you’re constantly selling stocks at the wrong time when the markets down and buying them back at higher prices when the market is better, successful investors really buy low and sell high. Not the opposite,” Burke said.

Staying the course is good advice for most.

“What if you are actually closer to that retirement goal is now a time for you to be worried?” James asked.

“Well you know that’s the tough question. That’s the great question and ultimately, that’s the importance of having that diversified portfolio. And having an asset allocation again anytime you say asset allocation, the mix between stocks and bonds and the bonds provide that cushion and getting closer to or in the early stages, especially of retirement having those bonds is important,” Burke said.

As we’ve seen all the ups and downs over the past few months experts say it could take an entire year for the market to fully recover. But again, the big takeaway is your investments are for the future not today, so don’t make short term decisions with your long term money.