The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult storm to navigate for many Americans. When the virus hit, the economy was in an incredibly good place. For years, unemployment had been dropping, the stock market was experiencing record gains, President Donald Trump was bringing manufacturing back, and for the most part, everything was going well.
Then the unthinkable happened. The deadly coronavirus began spreading across the country, and states tried desperately to stop it. Officials ordered businesses closed and families to stay home. All of the gains the economy had made were suddenly gone. It was as if somebody turned off a light switch. Soon, millions of Americans were out of work, and credit card debt was on the rise. Companies like Safe Path Advisors found themselves more necessary than ever.
Stock Market Uncertainty
When something happens around the world, the stock market is the first to react. For instance, on October 2, President Trump announced he’d tested positive for the coronavirus, and the S&P 500 fell 500 points. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell, too.
A few days later, the president announced he was calling off negotiations for a new stimulus bill until after the November election, and the stock market fell again. Every time that happens, investors worry they’re going to lose everything. It makes sense, millions of workers have their retirements invested in the market; if it crumbles, their financial future goes with it.
The reality is, there are probably going to be more instances where the market shudders before it’s better. We’re going into the flu season. On top of that, health experts worry that as the weather gets colder, people will head indoors and another flare of the coronavirus will begin. The uncertainty might keep big investors from throwing more into the ring for a little while.
If you’re concerned about your money and debt, there are steps you can take to secure your future even in these unprecedented times.
Speak to a Professional
Before you start messing around with your money, speak to your financial adviser (or hire one). They can help you decide what to do to keep your investments safe from the COVID-19 economic fallout. It’s crucial that you stay calm and not overreact. You could make it worse by making rash decisions because you’re stressed out.
Save a Little Extra
While your financial adviser helps you decide what to do about your investments, you can take other small steps. One of the easiest things to do, if you have the means, is to save a little extra each time you get paid. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but you can ensure you have a healthy emergency fund just in case coronavirus decides to get worse suddenly.
Ideally, you want to have enough funds in the account to cover three to six months of expenses if something goes wrong. Everything over that is gravy. Set small goals for yourself so that you don’t become overwhelmed.
Pay Down Debt
The most vital part of securing your finances while the stock market meanders along is paying down your debt. You could do this by paying off the accounts with the highest interest rate first, but there are other options.
Debt consolidation is another way to get your finances under control. Instead of paying the minimum amounts on several accounts and incurring interest on all of them, you can get a loan to pay off that debt. That allows you to focus on a single bill and possibly pay it down quicker than you would have before. Safe Path Advisors can help you get started if this is what you’d like to do.
You’ll Weather the Storm
Before you know it, the COVID-19 pandemic will be over, and your life will go back to “normal.” Hopefully, when that happens, you’ll have used Safe Path Advisors and our other tips to get you through to the other side. The stock market troubles are temporary. Your financial freedom shouldn’t be.