Market meltdown: What's next for my money?

By Tim Pulliam - email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The question on many minds is how the market plunge will affect your wallet. Monday's stock market drop has a lot of people taking a closer look at their investments.

Renee Pope is worried about how the dip will affect her own stocks. She's also a realtor, and wonders if the plunge will shoot interest rates up and push people out of the market for buying a new home. "It's going to affect my bottom line because it makes people fearful of spending, especially on an investment as large as buying a home," said Pope.

Ivan Earle, a senior executive with a national financial services firm, says that may not be the case. "Interest rates are not just going to explode and go up," said Earle. "If we do see an interest rate increase, it will happened gradually. I don't see it going up by much. Because we're trying to stimulate the economy and raising it, would hurt the economy."

Earle says now is the time to buy stocks because the price has lowered, especially if investors make long-term contributions. He says those investors should not be concerned. "My advice to people is to ride it out," said Earle. "What goes up will come down and when it's down, it will go back up."

Renee plans to do just that. She hopes the plunge is just a temporary reaction to nation's debt deal. "I think people got scared last week," said Pope. "They were unsure about what's gonna happen, and I think we're starting to see some of that."

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