The spread of COVID-19 has created turmoil in financial markets as investors digest the impact widespread quarantining and business shutdowns will have on corporate profits. Markets slid again on Monday morning in spite of many national banks and government efforts to stimulate the economy including extra low interest rates.(Alex Grimm/Reuters)

What to do, or not do, in times of financial uncertainty

Stock markets are tumbling, people are losing huge value on their investments as panic selling sets in.
The drop in value is such that automatic systems have halted trading on at least a couple of stock markets.
But what should people do in this most unusual situation?
Jessica Moorhouse (AFCC) is Millennial Money Expert, Financial Counsellor & Podcast Host


Several situations have converged in the last many months.

Jessica Moorhouse, financial consultant (supplied)

Jessica Moorhouse, financial consultant (supplied)

We have ongoing conflicts in some areas, trade disputes, notably the U.S and China, as well as China and Canada, there’s the Brexit uncertainty, recently the oil war between the Saudis and Russia which has drastically cut the price of oil, but the latest big uncertainty affecting domestic and global economies is the corona virus pandemic from COVID-19.
Stock markets took another hit this morning as panic continues.

The rapid decline in market value triggered and automatic halt to the TSX this morning, other markets also fell in Monday trading. (TSX-twitter)

Moorhouse says, it is not wise to panic sell, but probably also not the time to take your savings and invest in hopes of making a better return as the stocks eventually rise. She says if you have regular contributions to your investment set up, that is something that you should keep doing.

As to when the economy and stock values might “eventually” recover, she says that could take months or even a year or more as recovery could be slow once the virus risk fades and that itself is an unknown and might not be for weeks or months. Thus a full recovery might be a couple of years away.
She also suggests that If you don’t have a high interest savings account, that is something you should set up as an emergency fund to cover such things as job loss, or a cut back in hours.

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Categories: Economy, International
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