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Market Volatility Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Ken Goth
March 13, 2020

Recent Market Volatility

While market corrections are never pleasant, they are something investors should expect to happen from time to time, especially as saving for retirement is a long-term process. We believe that one of the best ways to manage risk, and our reaction to it, is to have a well-diversified portfolio. 

As Co-Fiduciary on our clients’ 401(k) plans, Vita Planning Group works closely with plan sponsors and recordkeepers to ensure the mutual funds available to participants are well managed and offer a diverse range of market sectors and investment strategies. While this cannot prevent short-term losses in any portfolio (or guarantee a profit), we encourage participants to look at retirement savings as a long-term process and to base investment decisions on risk tolerance and time horizon, over that long-term. 

Perspective

It is important to remember that we have seen many sharp market corrections from which we have recovered: most recently the crash of technology stocks in the early 2000’s, the mortgage crisis of 2008/2009, and now the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. 2020 is also an election year, which is likely to add to the already volatile markets.   

There have been at least 10 serious health events like Covid-19 (e.g. SARS, Avian flu, Zika virus) since the 1990s that have caused significant downturns in global markets.1 In 8 of those 10 events, stocks climbed more than 10% after the scare. Additionally, there have been 26 market corrections of at least a 13% decline since the end of World War II. On average it has taken four months for markets to get back to their pre-decline levels.

Closing Thoughts

Periodically rebalancing investments is an important way to help manage risk in one’s portfolio and can help one to meet his or her retirement goals. However, this should be done in a calm and methodical way and not in reaction to short-term market movements or media hysteria. 

COVID-19 Employer Playbook

1Wall St. Journal Op-Ed published on March 2, 2020

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