Dave Ramsey's financial advice amid coronavirus pandemic: Don't get off roller coaster in middle of ride

Finance expert Dave Ramsey warned that investors should not "get off a roller coaster in the middle of the ride,” as he reacted Thursday to the steep declines in the futures markets following the World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus a pandemic the day before.

The host of “The Dave Ramsey show” made the comment during an appearance on “Fox & Friends” alongside his daughter, personal finance expert Rachel Cruze.

“I think you do not play the stock market on the short-term. It will give you a heart attack," he advised.

Equity futures were pointing at more losses in U.S. stock markets Thursday after President Trump delivered a speech on the coronavirus outbreak that appeared to disappoint investors.

The declines in the futures markets follow steep losses in regular trading Wednesday as investors become increasingly worried that responses from government and central banks will be insufficient to prevent the outbreak from severely impacting the global economy.

The Dow’s drop of 1,464 points dragged it 20 percent below the record set last month and put the index in a bear market. A Thursday selloff would also firmly send the S&P 500 and Nasdaq into a bear market.


Ramsey said he thinks that by fall 2020 the market turbulence “will be a complete memory.”

He cited what happened to equity futures in 2008 as an example.

“I sat here in 2008 yelling over and over and over again. Please don't take your money out of the market. It will be OK,” Ramsey said. “The Dow went down to 6,300 from 13,000. It went in half. Not just down a little bit.”

“It’s just down a little bit comparatively,” he noted on Thursday, referencing the current situation.

He also pointed out that following the Great Recession the Dow Jones Industrial Average “went back up to 30,000.”

On Wednesday night, Trump said he will enact a 30-day ban on all travel to and from Europe, excluding the United Kingdom, in order to slow the virus' spread. He urged Americans to listen to directives from their local officials, such as bans on mass gatherings and social distancing protocols.

In addition, Trump announced actions designed to ease the economic cost of the outbreak, including unspecified aid for workers impacted by the virus, a deferment of tax payments for some individuals and businesses and low-interest loans for small businesses.

When host Ainsley Earhardt asked if it’s a good time to talk to a financial advisor or “just sit back and let it ride,” Cruze said, “Whenever you have money in the market, we always recommend having someone that you trust, that has the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman, you sit down with and talk to.”

“Financial advisers, they’re in this all day every day, so talk to them, get their opinion, it's always the long game,” she continued. “Never take your money out of the retirement accounts. Leave it in.”

“Those guys are all in right now, they’re spending their whole day talking people off the ledge. It’s good to have somebody to talk you off the ledge,” Ramsey added.

Ramsey went on to note some financial opportunities as well saying that it’s a “fabulous time to refinance a mortgage.”

“If you’ve got one of those stupid adjustable rates or a balloon mortgage or even, could you believe we would say like 5 or 6 percent interest is high? That's a high-interest mortgage. You need to refinance that baby,” he said.


Cruze said at times like this she always tells people to “control what you can control.”

“You can't control the global economy so do what you can for your home,” she said, adding that living on a budget, getting out of debt and having cash in the bank if emergencies happen can “set you up for success in your household.”

Fox Business’ Ken Martin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.