OLDER INVESTORS AND THE VIRUS

Older investors and the virus. The coronavirus pandemic has created a crisis that some economists believe could take the country nearly a decade to recover from. Individuals who have lost money in the stock market face one of the most difficult investing decisions they will make in their lifetimes: whether to wait out a potentially long rebound or exit the market altogether. Data from Fidelity Investments suggests millions of individuals have decided to do the latter. Nearly a third of investors ages 65 and up sold all of their stock holdings some time between February and May, compared with 18% of investors across all age groups. The stock market has defied many investors expectations, recovering much of the losses it suffered after the pandemic forced businesses to shut down and countries to close their borders. The S&P 500 is now down 5.(% for the year, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is off 10%, despite tumbling last week on growing fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections. Older investors and the virus.

Money managers who believe the stock market’s rebound is justified have attributed the rally to aggressive central bank action, fiscal policy and projections that the U.S. will be able to contain the pandemic in the coming months. Those who are more skeptical point to the worries about another spike in coronavirus cases–especially after a wave of protests broke out around the country–that could send the market tumbling again. In many cases, those hoping to retire in the coming years aren’t waiting around to find out who is right. Philip Eberlin, who owns a woodwork-restoration business, has most of his portfolio in certificates of deposit and cash. He knows from experience that, even after world changing events-9/11 and the 2007-2008 financial crisis–the stock market has always gone up again. Mr. Eberlin said he missed out on much of the market’s stunning recovery after the last financial crisis because he never figured out a time to move money back into the stock market.