Most KiwiSaver funds are likely to take a hit from the sell-off in global share prices but investors are being urged not to panic.
The New Zealand sharemarket has fallen by more than 1.6 per cent today in the wake Friday's big falls on Wall St.
The S&P 500 fell 2.1 per cent on Friday - the worst day since September 2016 - which saw the index finish the week down 3.9 per cent.
The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered their worst weeks in more than two years while the Nasdaq had its worst week since February 2016.
Chris Douglas, director of manager research ratings at Morningstar Australasia, said KiwiSaver investors who had their money in a balanced, growth or aggressive fund were going to see the potential for their balances to decline.
"But that is part and parcel of investing in the markets."
Investors needed to put the fall into perspective as sharemarkets around the world, including New Zealand's NZX 50, had had a "tremendous run" over the last year with returns over 20 per cent, Douglas said.
"What is remarkable is we have had 12 consecutive monthly rises in the US market."
That was the first time in history that had happened, he said.
"A little bit of volatility is not a bad thing."
For investors with a long time frame - 30 to 40 years until retirement - it provided an opportunity to buy shares at a lower cost and benefit when they bounced back again, he said.
"With KiwiSaver you are continuously buying into markets."
Douglas urged people to stop looking at their account balance on daily basis.
"Looking at your account balance is not going to help and could lead you to make poor investment decisions."
He said global fundamentals remained relatively strong with unemployment at low levels, and global growth rates on the rise.
"For the markets to sell off like they have is not unusual and not a bad thing."
Ayesha Scott, a finance professor at AUT, said a week or a day of share prices going down was no reason for people to panic.
She said looking at the broader picture stocks were overvalued at the moment and commentators were warning that a fall in prices was likely.
But Scott said as long as a person was in the right fund type which was appropriate for their circumstances they should not do anything.
Looking at your account balance is not going to help and could lead you to make poor investment decisions.
Those looking to retire in less than 10 years should be in a conservative fund, she said, while younger people could afford to ride it out in a balanced or growth fund.
"It is certainly not panic stations."
Claire Matthews, a KiwiSaver expert at Massey University, said those investing for the longer term needed to have faith the markets would pick up again.
The problem was that many people did not necessarily have a good understanding of how markets worked, Matthews said.
People were used to looking at bank savings account balances which went up.
"Seeing bank accounts go down is going to make them really nervous."
But she said that was why people should not be looking at their accounts on a regular basis.
It was a reminder for people to get financial advice to ensure they were in the right fund, Matthews said.