Tanking Oil Prices And What It Means For Your Wallet

Friday, January 22nd 2016, 7:06 pm
By: News 9

The start of 2016 has been one of the worst ever for the stock market because energy companies make up a big part of it. The average American's 401(k) has lost $6,500 in the last three weeks.

“We are not even at the end of January, so we are in for a little bit of a wild ride, for sure,” said financial expert Deana Howard of Howard and Howard Enterprises.

Howard advises investors not to have a knee-jerk reaction because that is where you get in trouble.

“If you are getting near retirement or you are in retirement, don't take out of your 401(k),” Howard told News 9. “Take out of other savings or investments that are safe, give that 401(k) a chance to recover.”

If you are young, Howard said do not worry. The market goes up and down and your 401k will recover in the long-term.

“If you're looking at your portfolio day-to-day and you're flipping out, then that's not a good thing because you really want to have a long-term goal,” Howard explained.

On the flip side, drivers are seeing a savings at the gas pump, filling up for about half the price as in the past. Howard suggested diverting those savings, no matter how small.

“Take that extra money and instead of just going and spending it frivolously, put it towards either emergency savings account, or paying off debt or invest it for the long term,” Howard said.

If you plan to fly this year, the prices are probably the lowest in three years because airlines are saving on fuel.

Plunging oil also means cheaper prices to heat your home this winter, whether you use propane, natural gas or even electricity. Howard said do the same thing with those savings.

“Whether it's $25, $50, whatever that savings is, start now and over time that thing does accumulate,” she said.

Learn more about Howard and Howard Enterprises