FILE - Virus Outbreak Illinois Daily Life

A women's boutique clothing store in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, advertises the selling of masks Sunday, May 3, 2020.

(The Center Square) – Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, stocks have been way down and then back up, but a wealth management advisor reminds retirement savers and small businesses it’s important to plan long term, and not react to the day-to-day.

Earlier this year, stocks were at record highs. Then it suddenly dropped to Oct. 2016 levels in March. Recently stocks have rebounded to mid-2019 levels.

Certified Financial Planner John Bever, with Phase 3 Advisory in Buffalo Grove, said for investors eying retirement, it depends on when they plan to retire.

“Young people have an advantage because they have a lot of time,” Bever said. “So as long as they’re not looking at their account every day, if this is money for their retirement and they’re 35 years old, this doesn’t need to bother them. In fact, it can create an opportunity.

“It is most difficult for those who are on the verge of retirement,” Bever said. “They’re trying to figure out what to do right now.”

Bever said those who have recently retired shouldn’t panic. He suggested meeting with a financial advisor to assess where they’re at and where they’re going with retirement.

For small businesses, Bever said one lesson to take away from the COVID-19 crisis was to save, save, and save.

The past few months have been difficult for businesses, Bever said.

“Right now the door got slammed on sales, just absolutely closed shut, immediate,” Bever said. “Very difficult.”

He said the crisis and the government-imposed shutdown will mean three months of revenue is essentially gone for some small businesses and it should be a reminder for them to save for up to three months worth cash flow.

“Most small businesses do not have that,” Bever said. “However they can set up lines of credit and possibly have access to that. If they're not in that condition and they’re not in that place, they just need to continue to add to their cash reserves.”

He said business owners who may feel panicked about their financial futures should sit down with a financial planner to chart out a path forward.

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Staff Reporter

Greg Bishop reports on Illinois government and other statewide issues for The Center Square. Bishop has years of award-winning broadcast experience, and previously hosted “Bishop On Air,” a morning-drive current events talk show.