Ukraine-Russia crisis: Financial advisors say don't make rash decisions amid volatile market

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the Philadelphia area, unleaded regular fuel is up 32% from January 2021.
PENNSAUKEN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The geopolitical effects on the stock market stemming from the Russia-Ukraine crisis have many concerned about their financial portfolios.

But financial advisors are telling clients they should not fear a dip in the Dow and S&P markets.

Over the past five days, the Dow is down 1,820 points.

Charles Weeks Jr., co-founder of Barrister Wealth Management, said he has been proactively updating his clients about the current impact on the market.

"We don't want people to get over emotional and make rash decisions with their portfolio based on short-term market moves," said Weeks.

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Explosions heard in Ukrainian cities of Odesa, Kharkiv as Putin announces launch of military action.

Weeks said times like this serve as a good reminder to diversify your portfolio.

"So if you're really uncomfortable right now and you have to be able to sleep at night, there can be small tweaks to make to your portfolio. But by no means should you be selling everything," said Weeks.

With people seeing an impact when it comes to gas prices surging, there is a sense of panic that can set in.

Dr. Wojtek Wolfe, associate professor of political science at Rutgers University-Camden, says the economic impacts will affect Europe the most, but it will still be felt here in the U.S.

"You're going to see a steady creep up," Wolfe said of U.S. gas prices. "And if you see sharp spikes, it's more of a political, geopolitical effect that's spooking oil traders and the oil companies."

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As people fill up their gas tanks across the tri-state area, they're noticing that it costs more.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the Philadelphia, Camden, and the Wilmington area, unleaded regular fuel was $3.45 per gallon in January, up 32% from January 2021.

The nationwide city average was $3.41 per gallon in January, up 47% from last year.

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Drivers are bracing for higher prices.

"I wish we were more independent with our energy and our fuel," said Tim Bradley of Haddon Township, New Jersey.

Alex Deitch of Cherry Hill added, "It's crazy what's going on. We pray for the people of Ukraine."

Some lawmakers are proposing a gas tax holiday legislation, which would suspend the federal gas tax of 18.4 cents per gallon for the rest of this year.

Wolfe says he suspects gas prices will swing even more than that in the coming months.

"It's more in the category of someone has to do something about this, and they're going to try," Wolfe said of the gas tax holiday proposal. "But the market itself is really going to be dictating the prices, and the market does not like uncertainty."

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