With coronavirus stories coming at us from all directions, it's easy to feel a bit worried.
Banks are warning us a recession is inevitable. Exports are suffering and it seems everyone knows a story about a business that has hit a wobble because of a travel ban or a cancelled order or lack of supply. Feeling panicked yet?

It's human nature to hunker down a bit when things start to look a bit stormy on the horizon. But it might be the worst thing to do. For one thing, there's nothing quite so guaranteed to turn a "maybe" recession into a "definitely" recession than people deciding they don't want to spend money.

You can do your bit for keeping the economy afloat by carrying on much as you usually would. Support your local businesses and keep things ticking over in your community. Holiday locally if you want to — there seem to be some good deals popping up. There's a selfish reason to keep calm and carry on, too: If you sit too tight, you might also miss opportunities.

Shares have been very highly valued in recent years and it's been hard to spot any investments that actually look like a good buy. The market volatility going on at the moment will probably change that.


If you're a KiwiSaver member, carry on in the knowledge that your fund manager is probably getting you some good discounts, which will pay off when things pick back up again. If you're a DIY-er, see if you can spot any bargains. It's pretty much impossible to pick the market but if you're willing to stick it out, you should see long-term gains.

While you're not panicking, this could be a good chance to check that you're not too vulnerable to downturns. You might not be affected by this one, but there's a chance life will throw something at you in future. Do you have a savings account that could help you out for a few months if you were off work? What about insurances if you were sick?

Don't panic but don't be blasé, either. Things will eventually get back to normal and you have a chance to make sure you're in a good position to take advantage of the recovery.

Jeremy Tauri is an associate at Plus Chartered Accountants