There have been further sharp losses on global stock markets today - building on two weeks of declines relating to the Covid-19 outbreak.

With the amount wiped off global shares now heading into the tens of trillions, concerns are growing about the longer-term impact the virus may have on share values.

If you have money tied up in investments - perhaps through a pension - you may also have concerns about what it ultimately means for your pocket.

I have a pension fund/investment - what should I do?

Firstly and most importantly - don't panic.

"In times of stress people tend to make the wrong decision," said Caitriona MacGuinness, head of defined contributions at Mercer Ireland.

"People should keep calm, consider the policies they’ve put in place and stick with them."

That’s a sentiment echoed by Terry Devitt, investment director at Harvest Financial.

"Investors who sell out at a time like this almost always are mistaken in doing so," he said.

The reason - because markets tend to recover from these kinds of slumps once given enough time.

"If you go back to 2008, pensions might have fallen 20-30% in value - within a year you had regained that."

Time is the crucial component.

Professional investors that are selling out of the market now are probably looking at a much shorter window for their return.

But if you have some real Rainy Day Money invested, that you do not need in the immediate future, you are not under the same pressure.

Likewise people due to retire in five years’ time or more should have more than enough time to see their pension pot recover.

But I’m due to retire soon - will this reduce what I get from my pension?

It shouldn’t - any good pension provider should be taking retirement age into consideration and adjusting the riskiness of the investment accordingly.

That means that pensions due to be drawn upon in the near future should be based around very low risk assets and investments.

"Every pension provider has a suite of options - all of which are risk-aligned," said Mr Devitt.

That riskiness is measured on a scale of 1-7 set out by the European Securities and Markets Authority, with risk increasing as the number goes higher.

"If you’re younger you might be happy to be up nearer a five or six - but if you’re older your pension funds should be at a three to four," he said.

The job of the pension provider is to manage this for you.

However, if people are unsure about their own investments or pensions, they should speak to their provider to get a better understanding of how their money is allocated and what level of risk is involved.

I’m nervous - how can I reduce my risk further?

The golden rules of investing apply now just as much - if not more - than in the good times.

People should only lock away money in the long-term when they can afford to do so - and should always ensure they have access to cash at short notice.

"Everybody’s got to provide for rainy days," said Mr Devitt. "Even if you think your savings are not going to be accessed for a long time, it’s always safe to have some liquidity."

Depending on the nature of their pensions, soon-to-be-retirees may also take this time to think about how they are going to receive their pensions, according to Ms MacGuinness.

"Often members may stay invested and take a retirement fund, which gives them a longer-term investment horizon," she said.

People can also ask their pension funds to shift their money to lower - or higher - risk investments at no cost, if they feel that is the most appropriate course of action.

Ultimately the advice is for people to take financial advice and avoid any rash decisions - which may prove costlier than doing nothing.

"The fear is you cash out and take the loss, then you don’t buy back in because you’re frightened of the markets," Mr Devitt said.