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Coronavirus fears rock stock market, local financial advisor reacts

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- As Coronavirus cases pile up around the world, the Dow Jones Industrial Average responded by posting it's worst two day point drop on record. The precipitous fall is leaving folks concerned about their investments.

"It's a reaction to the fear of the Coronavirus spreading and becoming a world-wide pandemic," said Randy Ehleringer, a Private Wealth Advisor at Echelon Wealth Partners.

While the record point drop gets headlines, Ehleringer says to pay more attention to the percentage drop instead of the number of points.

"So for example, a thousand point drop when the Dow is at 10,000 was a pretty big deal, that's a 10% drop," said Ehleringer. "When it's at 27,000 or 28,000 when it drops, that's about a three and a half percent drop."

Ehleringer says it's all about putting things into perspective.

"It's not an insignificant pull back in the market, but it's also important to keep in mind that the market year-to-date was up over three percent," said Ehleringer. "So effective what happened [Monday] is we went back to where we started the year."

And this isn't the first time that a global virus has shaken stocks.

"We had the bird flu from a while back and the SARS scare," said Ehleringer. "Historically these things do cause quite a stir in the short term and they do actually slow the economy down a little in the short term but historically we have tended to work our way out of them relatively soon."

But for now, Ehleringer has some advice for people who have investments in the market.

"Keeping a very long term perspective, staying very diversified, not over reacting, and not making emotional investment decisions is always good advice and I think it pertains more than ever," said Ehleringer.

If you have any questions or concerns about your investments, you should contact your financial advisor.

Sarah Gannon

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