The full impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic to New Jersey and the world may not be known for months. As schools close, businesses shut down and people are urged to practice social isolation, the economic effects will be far reaching.

As individuals, we have a natural concern for our physical well-being, but many are also experiencing increased anxiety over their financial well-being. A bull market began in March of 2009 following the Great Recession. For many younger investors, it is the only market they have ever known.

We experienced consistent gains in our retirement and education savings accounts. Now, many have lost substantial value in those same investments. Stocks suffered their worst losses in 30 years this week, and if you've dared to look at your 401(k), the numbers are sobering.

So, what do you do now?

I sat down with Ken Kamen, the official investment adviser of New Jersey 101.5, to talk about the impact of coronavirus on the economy, our investments and what it means to our dreams of a comfortable retirement.

Ken’s bottom line: DON’T panic.  It’s natural to be frightened.

“Fear is not a weakness,” Ken said. “It’s how people respond to danger. Unless it is calibrated properly, however, fear quickly turns into panic, and panic moves faster than any virus.”

He urges you not to give in to panic and fear.

“In periods of declining markets, emotions run high, and that’s natural and understandable. But it is exactly in times like this that a long-term orientation is important. Based on my prior experiences and what has historically occurred, I firmly believe markets will rebound and life will return to normal. Now more than ever, investors should be reaffirming their long-term objectives.”

Below are a series of short videos of Ken sharing more of his thoughts on how to handle the financial aspect of this coronavirus pandemic.

It's O.K. to be afraid:

What do I do about my 401(k)?

Markets WILL recover ... just not quickly:

Ken Kamen of Mercadien Asset Management advertises with New Jersey 101.5, but this is not a paid promotional post.

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