How Does the Stock Market Affect You?

It was a wild day on Wall Street Monday.

At one point the Dow Jones Industrial dropped 1000 points ending up at a low of almost 600 points with the average at 16,459.

Many investors were clearly shaken, but how much does it affect you?

Sometimes the headlines are worse than the story. We hear about a brutal drop in stock prices and we begin to worry.

So whether you’ve got money in the stock market or not you need to pay attention because after the bark we could all get bitten.

Leo Gill watches three generations of his family pick raspberries and tomatoes through his Rancho Penasquitos backyard.

You won’t find the drama of the stock market here, but it’s still on Leo’s mind.

Retired from the Navy, he grew up during the Depression. Because of that experience Leo says he’s always tried to plan ahead.

“You need to save and put away and if you do then there’s some for you in the future,” Gill told NBC7.

Leo says he’ll weather today’s stock market plunge because he’s diversified his investments.

And since he retired he’s always tried to live within his means.

But even if you don’t have money in the stock market a drop like today could hurt everyone.

SDSU Marketing professor George Belch says even though the housing market is strong and interest rates low, it’s hard to predict how this current slide would impact regular folks like Leo Gill and his family.

“Clearly this can have a major impact on consumer confidence,” says Belch. “If consumer confidence gets shaken, that’s when consumers will all of a sudden tighten the wallet and we’re going to have potential economic downturn from that.”

Sometimes it’s how consumers view the economy and its future that is the real test whether those they're tied to the stock market or not. Clearly fears that China’s economy is slowing down helped drive the stock market dive.

“I don’t think we have a good reason to panic but we don’t know what’s going to happen over the next couple of months,” says Belch.

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