RELATED: Dow drops 7.8% as free-fall in oil, coronavirus fears slam markets
Circuit breakers kicked in and trading temporarily halted because of a dramatic seven percent drop. The markets reeling as oil prices are plunging and coronavirus fears are rising.
RELATED: Coronavirus fears, oil price war causes gas to dip below $2 a gallon in parts of NC
Raleigh financial advisor Nina O'Neal, a partner at Archer Investments, said it's healthy to be concerned right now, but people shouldn't be afraid.
"We don't like to make knee jerk reactions in major market movements unless there's a significant opportunity that we see," she said.
ABC11 asked what investors should be doing based on their stage of life.
YOUNG ADULTS GETTING INTO WORKFORCE
O'Neal said there's opportunity for people just starting out. They're buying at a low point in the market and that'll mature over time.
"I would say for young people, don't worry about the day-to-day movements," said Archer. "(Investing now) breaks up market timing risk because you're buying at different points."
MID-CAREER ADULTS, PERHAPS WITH A FAMILY
Archer suggested increasing your retirement contributions while the prices are down.
"If you have the earnings opportunity to max out your 401K, and you're not doing that, I would say that's the biggest thing you need to look at. Not what the market performance was today," she said.
OLDER ADULTS CLOSE TO RETIREMENT
If you're close to retirement or hoping to leave in the next five years, Archer strongly suggests working with a professional.
"You're at critical years to not be able to rebound or not be able to earn much more," she said. "There's not a lot of room for error and I think people saw that in 2007, 2008, 2009 when we had the Financial Crisis. So many people were improperly invested or got out of the markets, and they couldn't retire. Then we saw an extension of people staying in the markets, which then kind of hurt the GenX and the GenY and their ability to move forward."