A FAMILIAR feeling of fear has been haunting investors, super fund members and self-funded retirees.

A shocking start to 2016 for the sharemarket has rekindled memories of the Global Financial Crisis, and worries worsened last week when global bank RBS warned of a "cataclysmic year" and urged investors to "sell everything".

A few finance experts have joined in the gloomy chorus, but many have criticised it, and others have forecast good gains for Aussie shares between now and December.

RBS warned that global sharemarkets might fall by 20 per cent in 2016, which is not that nasty compared with the GFC when Aussie shares tumbled 55 per cent from late-2007 to early-2009.

GFC throwback ... how will the stock market measure up in 2016? Picture: iStock

LOSSES HURT

The All Ordinaries index, which tracks the value of 500 listed companies, has slumped 7 per cent in the first two weeks of January.

"People hate losing money more than they like making it - it's the way we are wired," he said.

"The problem with 'sell everything' is when do you buy back in? There will always be volatility and a big variance in opinions - sometimes it's the people at the extreme at either end who get the most airtime."