What should you do now after steep stock market drop?

Posted December 25, 2018 12:24 a.m. EST
Updated December 25, 2018 12:25 a.m. EST

— The New York Stock Market suffered its biggest Christmas Eve drop in history following President Donald Trump's Twitter take down of the U.S. Central Bank, raising concerns that Wall Street's woes could impact Main Street residents.

The development, no doubt, has many Triangle investors worried about their holdings and retirement accounts.

North Carolina State University professor Michael Walden says people planning on retiring soon should consider delaying it although he says the economy's fundamentals are solid.

"It's lower unemployment and people are spending more money (with) incomes going up and wages are going up," he said.

Trump blasted the Federal Reserve and its chairman, Jerome Powell, over recent interest rate hikes.

"The Federal Reserve met last week (and) they were expected by many to say, 'You know we're going to take a pause in raising interest rates,' instead they said, 'We're going to raise interest rates, but not as much as we expected.'"

With stocks dropping, some investors chose to cash out and not look back.

"I got the cash out," said Robin Capps, who liquidated her Individual Retirement Account. "I cashed out last week and I'm happy to have it in my checking account and not having it go down anymore."

Walden said people facing imminent retirement should reconsider.

"If your retirement is upcoming, you should have a very small presence in the stock market to avoid problems like this," he said. "But if you didn't have that and you got a big presence you probably want to maybe even delay your retirement (and) wait it out. The problem is if you sell now you're actually guaranteeing losses."

At least two local investors said they aren't worried -- for now.

Investor Michael Katz said
Michael Katz
Invests in stock market
"I sold Apple (stock) at $213 (a share) and I sold Facebook at $180 and those stocks are way, way down right now," said Michael Katz. "So, I didn't sell everything, but a piece of it so i feel kind of I'm in a good position."

"I'm not too worried about it," said Matt Grossman. "It's not a big crash or a big recession yet so I'm not getting worried about it just yet."

Walden believes the market needs some good news to turn it around, advising investors to be patient and wait for stocks to bounce back.