BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Investors watched in horror when the Dow plunged and all the gains made this year evaporated. Experts said the average 401k took about a $12,000 hit.
The lunch time crowd at the Port City Cafe in Biloxi found recent bad news from Wall Street hard to swallow. Almost everyone had either lost a lot of money on Thursday or knew someone who had.
Suzanne Guyton, a customer, said, "I'm sure there's a lot of people my age. I know my brother what he lives off of is his retirement funds. He took a hit a couple of years ago and probably took another big one yesterday."
"I'm concerned, of course, to see anyone lose money as a lot of my friends have," said Danny Guice, another customer. "I don't have any money directly in the stock market, but a lot of funds I receive in my retirement indirectly come from there. I hope this won't be a long lasting problem."
Financial advisor George Cumbest took a lot of calls from worried clients on Friday. He's telling them because of all the economic woes expect a volatile market for the rest of the year.
"We won't go straight up by no means. It will be cyclical kind of like it's been. We will have good days and bad days," said Cumbest. "The markets are really hypersensitive right now, so if we get any piece of bad news people, they're looking for a reason to run."
Cumbest said retirees need to be conservative with investments right now but for those with the time to ride out the peaks and valleys. The current market may be a great opportunity to buy.
"The right stuff. A long as you're following a plan. You just don't go out and buy everything," Cumbest said. "Everything isn't a good deal. You've got to be cautious. We're cautiously optimistic, I guess you'd say."
Experts said it's important for people to have a lot of different types of investments. That way a loss in one sector isn't as detrimental.