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7 On Your Side has tips on how to protect your investments

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What does today's stock market plunge mean for your bottom line? Michael Finney lays out the facts and some simple advice about your investments. (KGO-TV)

7 On Your Side has some tips on what you can do to protect your investments during this period of extreme volatility in the stock market.

All day long, financial advisers have been telling consumers to stay the course. This while a lot of the big money has been buying and selling.

So this leaves many people wondering whether they should buy, sell or do nothing.

Let's look back before forward. Warren Buffett says you should expect returns of 6 to 7 percent a year, with others projecting 8 percent.

We also know that is average. In 2003, the S&P 500 returned nearly 29 percent and we know, too, that five years later in 2008, it lost 37 percent.

If you are buying at 29 and selling at 37, you are going to hurt yourself.

So what you need is some room to breathe. That way, when the stock market is making these types of big moves, you can decide on what to do - not out of fear.

Most financial advisers will tell you that means you need different piles of money -- piles that will be in stock that will grow over long-term.

Then you will need a pile of money for your immediate needs, say over the next two to three years. That money will be cash, money markets and bonds.

If you know you have enough money for the next couple of years, you are less likely to sell when you should sit tight or even buy.

There were a lot of retirees who panicked in 2008 and had to work several more years because they weren't ready for a downturn.

Having separate piles of money keeps you thinking about what can happen and what you need.

Click here for the full story on Monday's Wall Street losses.

Related Topics:
financestockswall streetu.s. & worldfinancefinancial marketspersonal financechinainvesting7 On Your Side
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