BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Dow rallied for a third straight day on Thursday, perhaps lending comfort to those whose retirement plans are tied to the stock market.

At the same time, though, it's still 25 percent lower than the all-time high it reached just over a month ago.

“These crazy wild swings in the market would give anybody heartburn,” said Joe Curatolo, a financial planner with Georgetown Capital in Williamsville. “When folks open up their (quarterly) investment statements that are going to come out in another 10 days, it's not gonna be pretty."

But experts say to remember that your losses, just like your gains over the last few years, are on paper.

You don't make money, or lose it, until you sell.

“I would say don’t sell at theses low prices … that’s not in anybody's best interest," Curatolo told WGRZ.

Especially those who are many years from retirement.

For those who are getting close though, there may be concern.

Hopefully, they would have been directing funds to more conservative investments in recent years.

“Everybody knows that as you get closer to retirement you turn the risk down," Curatolo said.

But he also acknowledges many people who should have dialed back on risk, fell to the temptation to ride the incredible rise of the market in the last three years, prior to the Coronavirus outbreak, which sent shares tumbling.

“there’s no doubt about it,” Curatolo said. “People who saw last year, where they might have made 25 to 30 percent in the market, may have thought that ride would last many more years. They stayed in and got beat up more than most.”

However, he says even they should not be panicking.

“If the market is down 25 percent year to date, which is only three months, and last year they made 25 percent, one could say that statistically they're about where they started in early 2019, so how bad is that?"

Besides, you probably weren't going to spend every dime you saved in your life, in the next year anyway.

“Every economic crisis for hundreds of years has eventually come and gone. For the vast majority of people who do any sort of planning they'll be fine," Curatolo said.

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