Experts say don't panic during stock market volatility

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GREEN BAY, Wis. Despite gains the past couple days, The Dow is reportedly having its worst December since the great depression. The volatility of the stock market is leaving many wondering what to do with their retirement investments.

Image Source: MGN

"Anytime you have a huge drop like that, worse than the great depression, I think it makes everybody uneasy," said Tom Maves of Neenah.

Maves is 61-years-old, and may retire in a few years, but the uncertain future of the markets concerns him. Still, he's choosing to trust it.

"I guess you've got to ride out the highs and the lows and it's been this way forever, but the long range being involved with the stock market over time has proven to be a good thing over time," Maves says.

His friend, Mike Olinger of Waupaca, choosing to do the same.

"Don't over-react, and that's one of the things that my wife and I are making sure we don't do," said Olinger.

Experts say, the men are doing the right thing by not panicking.

"When the market does really well, you're selling some stocks and adding to your fixed income, and in times like this maybe you're looking at re-balancing and bringing yourself back into alignment, which may be selling some fixed income and perhaps buying stocks at this point," said Ken Petter, a senior investment consultant at Baird Wealth Management.

Those who are close to retiring but are still looking to make the right decisions are encouraged to reach out to their local Aging and Disability Resource Center. The ADRC says they can help future retirees access public benefits, weigh out social security options, and teach people how to pick the right financial advisor.

"Insurance is kind of a gamble, taking out the social security early can be a gamble, but we just talk through what's important to them and try to help weigh what the best choice would be, and then walk them through how they would access the benefit if they chose to," said Casey Beilke, a benefits specialist with the ADRC of Brown County.

Petter believes the market volatility will slow down in a few months.

"We've gone through periods like this,” said Petter. “We've always had the market come out positively on the other end."