Financial impacts of the coronavirus

U.S. & World

(CNN) – The fiscal impact of the coronavirus is spreading. Fears of a pandemic are rattling global markets for a fifth consecutive trading session.

So, how is this impacting your 401k and other retirement investments?

“I think everyone is uncomfortable,” said Chris Burns, CEO of “The market is more like my 4-year-old than it is like a college professor. It’s not some logical entity.”

Investors are concerned the virus will negatively impact consumer demand and disrupt manufacturing supply chains in major industries.

So far this trading week, the Dow index has lost more than 2 thousand total points.

“It’s a big drop. So what the normal person does then is say, ‘I want control and so therefore I’ll sell off. I’ll go ahead and go to safety.’ And that could be one of the most damaging things for your portfolio,” Burns said.

So, is your nest egg safe?

Experts say, historically, markets have rebounded from previous outbreaks and that this is just a short-lived blip in the market.

But people close to retirement who have been more aggressive than they otherwise would be should be the most vigilant.

“I’m worried the most about those people. Because if we see a significant drop and they haven’t adjusted their portfolio to be realistic as they move to retirement. That could be really damaging for them,” Burns said.

For the rest of us, experts say don’t panic and continue to add to your 401(k) and investing in the stock market.

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