Local financial experts encourage residents to keep investing

Analysts advise to stay with investment plans during economic hardships

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — Recent drops in the Stock Market and record-high inflation have Chattanoogans worried about their 401 K’s and a looming recession.

CBS News reported today that the S&P 500 is “on the cusp of a bear market.”

These new concerns stem from a rough week on Wall Street, suffering stocks, and poor quarterly earnings from some of the country’s
biggest retailers, like Target and Walmart.

But the message received from a pair of local financial analysts was simple – don’t panic and keep investing.

Financial analyst Chris Hopkins has spoken with numerous Chattanoogans concerned over the state of their 401 K’s.

However, he says that while the market has dropped roughly 20%, residents should look at this time as one of opportunity in the market, not risk.

“The next time you get a paycheck and you’re going to put some of that money into your 401 K, you’re going to be buying stocks at a 20% discount,” Hopkins said. “That’s maybe the best way to think about it. There [are] some real bargains available right now.”

Hopkins understands the anxiety behind the country’s current economic state, but says that bear markets occur roughly every three to four years and that more will come.

For those with 401 K’s, he says stick with your plan, and today’s losses will become tomorrow’s gains.

“This is an excellent time to re-balance that portfolio, to put more money back into the sectors at are down more that we expect to recover more, and that’s a natural part,” Hopkins said. “You should do that once a year anyway, but this presents you an opportunity to do it now that you’re probably out of balance.”

President and CEO Jimmy Patton of the Patton Anderson Miller Group mirrored Hopkins’ advice, saying residents should “stay invested” and diversify their portfolios “across asset classes.”

He says there have been 26 bear markets since 1928 and that they’re “a normal part of the investing cycle,” adding that “successful investing requires that you not give in to your emotions.”

Hopkins further advised those with 401 K’s to not be constantly checking their status and to give their finances time.

The constant stress, he says, will only lead to further anxiety.


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