Over the last week, the financial market has taken a downturn amidst fears over Coronavirus. The S&P 500 had its worst weekly drop since the financial crisis in 2008, after setting all-time highs the prior week.*
Understandably, investors are anxious about their money. If you are concerned with your portfolio, you’re not the only one, however during times of market volatility, it’s important to stay levelheaded to avoid making financial missteps.
In situations like these, it’s important to keep perspective. This is not the first time the market has taken a downturn, market corrections are a natural part of the investment cycle and over long term, individuals that remain invested can use the volatility as an opportunity to buy will be rewarded.
The media can make it seem like each market downturn is worse than before. In reality though, volatility doesn’t hurt investors but if selling in a downturn, it will lock in losses.
Currently, there isn’t enough information to know how the Coronavirus will affect the market, over the short, medium and long term however it’s important to know that the financial market doesn’t like uncertainty. Therefore, as further developments come to light, there will likely be a correction to the market.
How have markets reacted to virus outbreaks in the past?
The table and chart below, show how the S&P 500 has performed during similar virus outbreaks in the past. While the impact can be negative, the long-term impact has been limited. In all past scenarios markets were higher 12 months after the virus was identified.**