By Frances Wang

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Business closures, layoffs, and a sinking stock market are all creating an economic downturn affecting every American. But what can you do to try and survive the financial crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic? UBS Bank Financial Expert Carlos Lowell talks to CBS4’s Frances Wang.

Q: People are worried – everyone seems to be suffering in some capacity. Is there anything people can do right now not to panic?

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A: Try to be patient. Try to be comfortable with changes we’re having to go through. Most important thing is make sure liquidity is there. Don’t want to make losses permanent, so if you can make sure you’re taking care of your needs for foreseeable future from cash standpoints, you can help yourself quite a bit.

Q: For people who are minimum wage and paid hourly, if they’ve been laid off or their hours have been reduced significantly, what can they do?

A: You want to reduce your expenses as much as possible, conserve your cash, do everything you can to make resources at your disposal last as much as possible. You also want to take advantage of any programs, whether its unemployment or anything being offered by the companies to ensure you’re maximizing what you’re able to get as you go through this process.

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Q: A lot of people getting ready to retire are seeing the effects on their 401K’s and retirement funds. What do you say to those people?

A: This has been a very sharp downturn, the markets have moved very quickly. Hopefully if we’re able to control the crisis by about mid-April, the expectation is we should see a recovery in the 2nd half of the year. Hold and be patient – V-shaped recovery, so we start seeing a good end of 2020. If they can hold on, that’s probably a good idea as long as they stick to their plan and don’t do any kind of panic selling or anything like that, I would say they should hold their course and stick to their plan.

Q: Is this a good time to invest?

A: When it comes to investing, there are a number of people looking at this crisis and trying to figure out the best area. Some of the areas that will benefit from trends already in place: online education, think tech, 5G, online shopping. Those are areas I can see people putting in money to work, looking for investors that will hopefully do well over the years.

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Frances Wang