Surviving the Market Meltdown

Falling stock prices, failing banks, billion dollar bailouts -- that's enough to make some investors take their money and run.  Certified Financial planner Jennifer Hartman is advising her clients not to sell in panic, especially if they don't need cash right now.  Hartman says,  “At some point the market will go up.  We don't know when, we don't know how long, but it will go up.” 

In the meantime, Hartman has a few tips to help investors survive the financial turmoil.  Number one, Hartman says, is to remember why you invested in the first place.  Most people invest in stocks and bonds to assure they'll have an income when they retire.  "People are not getting pensions these days. Social security, if you live in California, is probably not going to be enough to pay the expense that you have, so you're going to need extra income."

Hartman's second financial survival tip is to  Develop a Plan.  Figure out how much you need in retirement, where the income sources are and what kind of investments will get you there.

Since investing in the market is a long term proposition, Hartman's third survival tip is to stay the course.  Her fourth tip is to protect your other assets.  An illness or other cataclysmic event could wipe out all your retirement savings so you want to make sure you have proper insurance. 

It's also a good idea to seeking investment advice,  but Hartman says go to a professional, not a co-worker.   "That's a very bad strategy because your co-worker may be in a very different position than you are."

And Hartman stressed over and over that what goes down will eventually go back up and people who stay invested will ultimately reap the benefits.

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