Coronavirus impact on 401k and retirement investments

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – The Dow Jones dropped for the sixth day in a row. The index lost around 1,200 points over the last few days alone.

Coronavirus fears cause the stock market to drop to the lowest numbers in years. NBC 15 news reporter Elise Romas speaks with financial experts on why it’s also impacting 401k and retirement investments.

Due to quarantines, Chinese industries are essentially shutting down, effecting trade between the United States and China. That impact is ultimately trickling down to things like 401k and retirement investments.

NBC 15 News spoke with several finance experts on the issue to help break down what this means for Americans. One professor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business says investors are afraid that coronavirus is slowing economic growth. Because of this, businesses are not making as much money, which directly impacts their stocks and has also decreased the value of retirement accounts.

As for the virus itself, the Center for Disease Control is focusing on a new case in Sacramento, California, which could be the first case to spread from person-to-person in the U.S.

A U.W. Health doctor says a person’s risk of catching the virus here in Wisconsin remains low.

"Generally, people will be symptomatic for about a week or so, or less and then they start to recover, but the worst part is probably the first two or three days of the infection," Medical Director for Infection Prevention Dr. Nasia Safdar said.

Dr. Safdar said researchers nationwide are working to develop a vaccine. It’s expected to be tested in clinical trials.