Financial planner weighs in on stock market plunge

Financial planner weighs in on stock market plunge

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The stock market took a plunge on Monday when the Dow dropped more 1,175 points, the biggest single day point drop in history.

For the last several years, William Van Kirk Jr. has watched the stock market surge to record highs from his Gulfport office.

Despite the downward turn in the market over the last week, Van Kirk doesn't think it's time to panic.

"I don't think it's going to trend like that hitting irrational lows," Van Kirk said. "It could happen, but I wouldn't expect it to be a major downfall from this point."

Van Kirk isn't surprised to see the dip. He credits Wall Street's worst week in two years to what he describes as a divisive political climate and rising interest rates.

"People expected the interest rates coming up two and three years ago and it never happened, so now we're starting to see it creeping up slowly."

401K statements will show a big loss over the last few days. However, Van Kirk said you shouldn't be concerned with your 401K's short term performance unless you're planning to retire soon.

"If you're within several years of retirement, that's when you need to start re-balancing no matter where the market's going," Van Kirk said. "You need to re balance it to somewhat more conservative things generally meaning some fixed income like CD's, treasuries and good quality cooperate bonds that type of thing."

Despite the recent dip, Van Kirk believes long term investments are still in good shape.

"We're still above for the year, we're still at barely above for the year. So it's still doing okay, it's just whether the trend will continue," he said.

When significant declines hit the market, Van Kirk sees it as a chance to capitalize. He noted, "With this coming down this much, I'm looking for bargains and I'm sure we'll find that relatively soon."

Since hitting a record high in late January, the Dow is down 8.5%.

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