JP Morgan strategist to investors: Don’t panic

  • While the wild week has certainly spooked many investors, "it is a course correction, not a panic sell-off," according to J.P. Morgan strategist David Kelly.
  • This is a good time to pause, rebalance portfolios and reassess risk, he says.

After a week of unprecedented point drops on major market indexes, it's no wonder investors may be feeling a little nauseous.

"Don't panic," said strategist David Kelly, despite the dramatic market swings.

Kelly, chief global strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, said it's reasonable to expect the stock market to have a correction after last year's record run. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all had their best years in four years in 2017.

"It is a course correction. It's not a panic sell-off," Kelly told CNBC.

"It's a reminder to people there's no such thing as a free lunch in the stock market," he added.

"It's a reminder to people there's no such thing as a free lunch in the stock market" -David Kelly, chief global strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management

Behind the turmoil is the prospect of rising interest rates and there's "nothing wrong" with that, Kelly also said.

"It's appropriate as the economy grows but what's happened is it's caused a spike in volatility."

According to Kelly this is a "good time to pause," rebalance portfolios and reassess risk.

If you started out with a 50/50 stock allocation a few years ago, you could be well above that now. And "if you haven't rebalanced after 2017's run up, you're overweight stocks," Kelly said.

But instead of yanking assets out of the market altogether, stay invested in stocks for the long term and diversify the mix of stocks and stock funds in your retirement, college savings plans and other accounts.

Financial advisors with clients who are very near retirement or who have short-term goals are recommending that they keep a chunk of their savings in cash, certificates of deposit and high-quality short-term bond funds.

"On the Money" airs on CNBC Saturdays at 5:30 a.m. ET. Check listings for air times in local markets.

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