The sharemarket rout over the last few days has left investors battered and bruised, reviving memories of previous market meltdowns.
The 2008-09 global financial crisis is still fresh in most fund managers' minds and more than a few still remember the 1987 sharemarket crash.
In these times of extreme uncertainty, how are fund managers looking after one of the worst trading weeks ever recorded?
The local market briefly entered bear market territory yesterday, having fallen by more than 20 per cent from its record high reached less than a month ago.
By the close, the S&P/NZX50 index was down 4.9 per cent, at 9826, and back to where it was last April.
The US sharemarket was a sea of red, with stocks falling almost 10 per cent after US President Donald Trump banned Europeans from travelling to the US in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus. Most other major markets in Europe and Asia were similarly affected.
For fund managers, it's been a matter of keeping a cool head while markets lurch violently lower in response to the coronavirus outbreak and the oil price slump.
Despite the rollercoaster ride, fund managers remain believers in equities as an asset class.
They point to the need for investors to be clear about their time horizons and their appetite for risk.
So in times of trouble, is cash king?
"It's a yo-yo, one day it is, one day it isn't, which is indicative of the ... uncertainty," said Steffan Berridge, quantitative strategist at Kiwi Invest.
For Berridge, it all comes down to investors' time horizon.
"It's probably not a bad time to buy if you have got a 10 to 20-year time frame," he said.
"On the other hand, if you just had a loss and you are going to need some money in the next few years, maybe it's time to take some risk off the table.
"Ultimately, it's not going to destroy the world, but it's going to create some challenges for it."
For Berridge, it's all about having an investment horizon.
"Make sure that you have the right sort of risk for your portfolio but otherwise keep to your knitting.
"People are selling shares — that's not a great thing to be doing in the short term, unless you really know what you are doing," he said.
"Remember what your horizons are. If you have been investing with the right amount of risk, with the right horizons, you should not have to make any changes in your portfolio as a result of this," said Berridge.
Richard Stubbs, co-founder of boutique fund managers Castle Point Funds, said big sell-offs were part and parcel of investing in equity markets.
"You have to tolerate volatility to earn those long-term, compounding, returns. They are unpleasant but they are part of it."
Stubbs said Castle Point had been "defensively positioned for a long time".
Fund managers sing from a similar song sheet when it comes to shares as an asset class.
For most, the week's ructions just come with the territory.
Paul Huxford, ANZ Investments chief investment officer, said investors need to focus on long-term goals and not make any sudden changes to a portfolio.
"Remember, periods of uncertainty can serve as good buying opportunities should the right valuations and fundamentals arise."
AMP Capital's head of investment strategy Greg Fleming said the prospect of closures, quarantines and the impact on confidence had completely reversed investors' prior positive assumptions about 2020.
"The failure of an oil price agreement added to the sense of non-co-ordination at just the wrong moment.
"Hence, the reversal of many investment positions globally that depend on a resilient global growth trajectory and smooth production/profit tracks," he said.
"Such deep reversals in last year's market [gains] will likely ultimately reveal both company equity and debt risks around the world, previously ignored or played down by some," he said.
Weighing on stocks
Devon Funds managing director Slade Robertson believes volatility will continue to be a characteristic of equity markets for a while yet.
"Uncertainty as to the progress and economic implications of Covid-19 will broadly weigh on stock prices until such a time that the global infection rate begins to fall or that there is progress on a medical solution," he said.
"We will also imminently see major positive policy initiatives from central banks and governments.
"Despite the inevitable economic downturn that the world will endure and the resulting challenges to corporate earnings, the platform for a strong recovery in share prices over the next months is being set from record low interest rates and the fiscal support," Robertson said.
Matt Goodson, managing director at Salt Funds Management, points out that the New Zealand market has had an extraordinary run — a 30 per cent gain in 2019 alone. For him, it's been a matter of putting aside developments of the last few weeks and positioning for the long term.
"It can be quite hard at times to avoid being caught up in some of the movements, as the bid-offer spreads open up," he told the Weekend Herald.
"Some people want out at any price in some situations."
Goodson said the concern during the GFC was whether it would spell the end of the entire financial system.
This time around, it will be a matter of how much damage will be incurred by the outbreak, and can companies' balance sheets withstand it.
On the New Zealand market, the price action had been quite rational, with the low-risk stocks such as the electricity gentailers suffering least.
Those stocks with stretched balance sheets, or those directly affected by the outbreak, have been hit harder.
"It's been a very, very elevated bull market for a long time, particularly for the large stocks that have been massively overvalued.
"The GFC felt like it could have been the end of the Western financial system. But it turned out okay."
This time around there are two things. The coronavirus outbreak and oil price slump. "Both will prove temporary," Goodson said.
Despite the bloodshed of the last few days, it's hard to shake fund managers' faith in equities as an asset class. So, is Goodson still a believer?
"Absolutely. They have been a wonderful asset class over time and typically, buying on days like these is the best possible time," he says.
"The only problem was that our market had become extremely over-priced prior to this — thanks to a lot of things but mostly due to very low interest rates which has forced people into market for yield," he said. "They have, unfortunately, copped it right between the eyes."