Financial Planner Urges Calm in Face of Stock Plunge

A frenzied sell-off sent stock prices tumbling Tuesday, but a personal financial planner urges investors to keep the long-term picture in mind as they weigh options.

Written by Cory Chandler

Concerned about the sudden tumble in stock prices?

"Don’t worry," says Bill Gustafson, a personal financial planner and director of Texas Tech University’s Center for Financial Responsibility.

Stock prices plunged Tuesday as sagging durable goods orders, declining markets in China and a reported assassination attempt on Vice President Dick Cheney sparked a frenzied sell-off.

However, Gustafson warned investors to keep the long-term picture in mind as they weighed their actions.

"From a financial planning standpoint, this isn’t something to cause panic," he said. "The market has natural ups and downs and from the standpoint of achieving most long-run goals, such as saving for retirement or college funds, this type of thing is going to happen.

"It comes back, in other words," he said.

Texas Tech is a pioneer in the Personal Financial Planning field and played a major role in raising industry standards. A member of the original 20 programs to offer board-certified personal financial planning degrees, Texas Tech helped pave the way for the creation of more than 300 current financial planning programs nationwide.

The college is hosting a celebration honoring the original CFP Board-registered financial planning programs. This four-day-event will take place Feb. 27-March 3. Visit the program’s Web site for more information.

CONTACT: Bill Gustafson, senior director of Center for Financial Responsibility, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-9783, or bill.gustafson@ttu.edu