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San Diegans feeling Wall Street jitters

Downtown Coronado
Posted at 4:42 PM, Dec 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-24 20:09:19-05

CORONADO - San Diego residents and visitors say they are feeling the psychological impacts of the falling stock market when it comes to their investing and spending.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 650 points on Monday, its worst Christmas Eve performance ever.

"My IRA is hurting," said James Adams, going to lunch in Coronado. "I can't really do too much. It's too late to move money around now so we just have to weather it and hope it goes back up."

The Dow has dropped 15 percent in the last three weeks, pushed by political gridlock leading to a government shutdown, trade wars, amid rising interest rates.

Alan Gin, an economist at the University of San Diego, said people tend to spend more when the stock market is doing well because they feel wealthier. However, the opposite happens when the market is on the downswing.

Paul Aliu, visiting from Washington D.C., said it's scary for him to check his 401(k). He said he was reconsidering a trip to the Zoo after he found out the ticket was more than $50.

"I'm watching every dollar and every penny that I spend," he said.

Dennis Brewster, a San Diego financial adviser, said it's important to think long term and not panic. Selling now locks in any losses.

"It's hard to keep your perspective when we're in the middle of these declines," he said. "I encourage people to keep a longer term view."