Managing Your Finances Through Economic Volatility
By Caleb Silver, Editor in Chief of Investopedia
Updated April 7, 2020
Investopedia's mission is to help people be in control of their financial lives, and that mission is just as important as ever given the health and economic crisis we are all living through. We've organized the most important information about a variety of financial topics that are particularly relevant in today's financial markets that will impact your investments and your personal finances. From managing your portfolio through volatility to the latest on student loan interest and mortgages, this guide is here to help you plan for and react to the current economic realities.
Your Investments Right Now
In the face of historic drops in the stock market, we're all concerned about our investments and retirement plans. The good news is that things will get better, but it will take time as the world adjusts to the current reality. In the interim, you can take some proactive steps to set yourself up to rebuild and strengthen your 401(k)s, IRAs, and brokerage accounts despite the fact that we are in a bear market for the first time in a long time.
Here are several recently updated resources to help you think through what to do with your investments right now:
The Economy and Your Money Right Now
Pandemics and public health emergencies, like the COVID-19 crisis, have an impact that is far beyond the stock market. It has and will continue to touch every aspect of the local and national economy. It has spurred important government reactions, such as extending tax payment deadlines and student loan payments. Find out what you need to know about how to deal with the various other aspects of your financial health during these turbulent times.
Federal Changes Happening Now
U.S. lawmakers have agreed on and President Donald Trumped signed into law a $2 trillion stimulus bill called the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act to blunt the impacts of an economic downturn set in motion by the global coronavirus pandemic. It is the largest rescue package in U.S. history.
The package includes $367 billion in loan and grant programs for small businesses. It expands and increases unemployment benefits, and families will be receiving stimulus checks. Hospitals, healthcare systems and providers will receive more than $130 billion, while corporate America will get a $500 billion fund. The airline industry will get a bailout, and there will be a ban on stock buybacks for large companies with government loans.
But that's not the only stimulus program to get passed in recent days. The HEROES Act, a $3 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Bill, was introduced by the Democrats in the House in mid-May of 2020. In addition:
Planning for Medical Bills
With hundreds of thousands of cases of COVID-19 worldwide a new reality—a number that's guaranteed to grow—you should be proactively thinking about your medical bills.
In or Near Retirement
With the stock market being in the state it's in today, maybe now is not the right time to follow through with your retirement plans. But it is an excellent time to review your plan. And for those who have already made the leap, there are some pitfalls you should actively avoid right now.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned that the coronavirus pandemic could cause unemployment rates to rise to as high as 20% if the government doesn't do more to act. As many local governments shut down non-essential businesses such as bars, unemployment is going to put additional pressure on your debts. Find out what you need to do and what you need to know.
Accessing Funds Right Now
If you are facing an economic crisis at home as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, there are some things you can do to get access to additional funds while we all weather this economic storm. Check out these additional resources.
State and Federal Support Options
Beyond just emergency measures, the state and federal government offer some perennial support options you should know.