Wall Street wipeout: Buy, sell, hold?

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo (KKCO)-- The day after President Obama was re-elected, the stock market tanked. Now we're hearing about a dangerous fiscal cliff. What does this mean for your financial future?

Many financial professionals have seen this before, and aren't losing any sleep at all. Some financial experts say investors are losing confidence Congress and President Obama will reach a budget compromise.

The top Wall Street firms are saying it's prime opportunity to buy. Whether you're a rookie investor or seasoned veteran, experts are looking beyond the headlines and still giving out the same advice.

If we all followed the advice we see in the financial media, we'd all be rich, right?

"We had a correction in the market the last few weeks," said Ford Keeler, a financial consultant and registered principal with Financial West Group in Grand Junction.

The stock market is like a roller-coaster, with many investors buying and selling based on world events.

"Some people perceive it as being a post-election correction. I'd like to think of it as being concerned about the fiscal cliff," added Keeler.

Experts encourage you to stay disciplined and hang on when things don't look so good.

"You're going to dollar-cost average, and you're going to buy some shares when they're a little more expensive, and the fact of doing it consistently over time is more important than where the market is at that specific point in time," said Keeler.

Pundits also recommends not trying to time the market; just simply get started.

"Investors should begin to invest and continue to invest. That's the key. I don't think you should try to time the market. The key is the amount of time that you're actually invested, and the longer you're investing, and the more you're investing on a long-term basis, the better off you're going to be," explained Larry Jones, branch manager at Financial West Group in Grand Junction.

Another misconception is you have to be wealthy to invest. Experts recommend mutual funds, many of which you can buy for as little as $100 directly through a brokerage.

"A lot of people have an opportunity to participate in a company retirement plan, which allows them to have money taken out of their paycheck on a monthly basis. That's definitely something that they should participate in," added Jones.

Technology now allows investors to make their own trades through online brokerages, but regardless if you want to hire a professional or not, they can still point you in the right direction.

"The best thing they can do is use the advice of experts and other people," advised Jones.

Analysts are predicting the S&P 500 will rally 17 percent by the end of 2013. Others are predicting the market will rally nearly 50 percent by the end of 2014. It's important to point out that investments in the financial markets are not guaranteed and may lose value. For more investing resources, including consumer reports to help you know more about picking the right investment company for you, visit the related link below.

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