It’s been none too pretty in investing land. The stock market’s dramatic twists and turns are enough to make you shut your eyes and fight back the tears.

It’s not a big deal if you’re retiring decades from now, but if you’re doing so this year, or soon thereafter, to call you a Nervous Nelly may be an understatement.

The big question — what to do?

StoryStocks shudder as economic jitters take center stageSee alsoCheck a stock price
  • Stay the course

“The worst mistake is to liquidate your entire portfolio. This assures there will be zero return,” says Kei Sasaki, regional chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank in Manhattan.

  • Divvy the pot

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Money needed in the first five years of retirement should be in money markets and insured CDs; for years five-10, look to a balanced mix of stocks and bonds; beyond that, warrants an even higher equity allocation, says Kevin Smith, executive vice president of Janney Montgomery Scott in York, Pennsylvania.

  • The bottom line

“It’s vital to keep some money in growth stocks,” says Phil Ash, CEO of Baton Investing in Washington, D.C. “You may live another 30 years. Even if the market suffers a big loss, historically it recovers all of its purchasing value in under five years.”