The best time to invest was yesterday
Experts are calling for oil prices to spike later this year. Should I wait it out?
The Bank of Canada says interest rates are going to rise. Should I wait out the year?
I read a report saying interest rates will significantly impact utility stocks and other interest-rate sensitive sectors. Should I invest elsewhere?
No. No. No.
My experience has been – amongst professionals, amateurs, beginners and everyone in between (myself included) – nobody has a friggin’ clue what is going to happen tomorrow. Let alone the day after. Let alone next week. Forget next month or beyond. I called some predictions last year but I was horribly off on others. Don’t kid yourself, the experts are too.
Billionaires lost billions making bets after the Trump election.
When it comes to investing the smartest people in the room will admit they have no clue.
You should admit the same thing.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb
I believe the same holds true for investing.
Critics of this post will say nobody wants to invest right before a major market correction or crash. True enough – I don’t either! The problem is nobody with any accuracy can predict when the next crash or correction will come. This is why I believe the best time to invest money is now – when you have it. Time in the market beats market timing.
Worse case friends, consider limping in. What I mean by this is dollar-cost average your way in by putting a big of money in this month, then next month, and so on. But in doing that just remember you’re trying to time the market.
Say you’ve ear-marked $5,500 or $6,000 to invest (and max out) your Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) this year. Invest $2,000 now, maybe $2,000 soon, and so on until you’re fully invested. Besides trying to time the market, just be mindful of your transaction costs when investing though. For what it’s worth, I try to keep my investing costs to around 0.5% or less (that’s a $10 fee for every $2,000 invested).
I believe the sooner you can get your money working for you, generally, the better. Remember, money can make more money if you let it be.
Last but not least, the sooner your money is invested, the sooner you can go back to more important things in your life like time with family and friends and causes that really matter.
Even though short-term market volatility can be scary, I expect your long-term results will be the exact opposite. Invest when you can, when you have the money, and remember the tenants of investing success when doing so.
- Save early and save often.
- Diversify your investments.
- Stay invested.
- Keep your investing costs and transaction costs dirt-low.
- Be mindful of tax considerations.
Control what you can – your investing behaviour – so invest when you can.
Nobody knows when the next crash nor market rally will occur.
If you haven’t started your investment journey yet – now is the time.
You’ll never be younger again than today as Andrew Hallam puts it in his post.
The best time to invest is as soon as you have the money. You’ll be wealthier for it.
What have your experiences been – when do you invest? Are you struggling with your timing decisions?
Image courtesy of www.tradingacademy.com.
The best time to invest was yesterday – it’s true when the stocks you bought went up, but what if it went down?
When stocks go down, you get them on sale 🙂
Finally someone that got it! 😉 Exactly what I think as well. I sometimes get frustrated reading other bloggers saying market is overvalued, a correction is coming, bla bla, so you should wait before investing. WHAT? Hold on a second, I need to breathe! 😉
Seriously, with a strong investment strategy and good analysis of the stocks you buy, there is not one good reason to wait. You’re already missing some!
I’m in love with this Chinese proverb. I can repeat it many many times. That and time in the market is more important than timing the market…
Same Mike….blah, blah overvalued, waiting for an entry – I mostly ignore that crap. I invest when I have about > $2k in accounts and go from there. When in doubt I invest in an indexed fund. KISS.
I like to invest as much as possible up to a certain percent. I like to have X in free cash for when the market does correct. The percentage I use changes over time, but it has allowed me to buy a lot of great companies on the cheap for when the opportunity arises.
Our plan is to have an emergency fund.
After that, we have other funds to save for cars, trips, etc.
Then everything else is invested for long-term growth. We probably keep about $5,000 in cash in our investment accounts for when, as you put it, “great companies go on the cheap”.
If you just keep executing your investing strategy (i.e. buy & hold, cost averaging), over the long term you’ll do just fine. Yesterday is always the best time to invest, today is the second best day. Don’t keep waiting!
That’s my plan Bob, like you, hopefully buy and hold and collect cheques.
Great comments! Interesting takes on investing styles. Seems everyone has their own little techniques and plays. The $1K threshold was not something I had thought about. I tend to throw any residual cash (stuff left over after pseudo-DRIPs and non-DRIPping) into one of the TD e-series once I get a hundred bucks. If I see a good stock that is on sale, I’ll sell some of that (ensuring I don’t invoke a sales fee) and buy an individual stock but I usually, at minimum, look at around $5K before I’ll pull a trigger. I also consider how much of a position a stock has in all the portfolios as well. Some of the Brookfield funds are diversified enough that I am comfortable with large positions but some of smaller ones I’ll try to keep at 5% or under. I’ve also on occasion put in some “stink bids” keeping an eye on ex-dividend dates. If I get ’em great, if not, there is always another day.
I also try to keep each individual stock holding under 5% of the total portfolio value. Less risk this way. That does not include some of my indexed funds where I hold upwards of 10% in each at this time.
I like Brookfield assets. I could see BIP.UN and BEP.UN being huge winners long term. Just a hunch of course.
I purchase stocks as soon as I have $1,000 saved (that’s a 1% fee). I will top up whenever it makes sense and leveraging dollar cost averaging.
I actually don’t mind a buy at 52-week high as it sometimes will make new high. I bought CNR when it was 52-week high 4 years ago and it’s one of my best performers.
Interesting. I buy when I have at least $1,000 to invest, preferably like I wrote, at least $2k to keep transaction costs to a minimum.
I don’t mind buying near 52-week highs but I’ll do that for indexed funds – since with indexing – today’s price is always the best price. Otherwise, you’re into market timing and that rarely works.
Investing regularly is a must. It instills habit, eliminates worry and has many other plus’s mentioned before which offset the negatives. But having said that, one must have an investment strategy which compliments those regular investments and can benefit from larger periodic contributions. For us, we maintained a list of stocks to select from when adding funds. In addition we also had buy levels. When we had larger amounts we looked at the criteria for those stocks and chose ones we thought would provide our best return. There were times we waited or just invested a portion, but we never tried to look beyond the list. When we did, and there were times, we regretted it later.
We too, have a list of stocks to select from when adding funds. I don’t re-balance my portfolio by selling anything.
Running DRIPs helps ensure I continue to reinvest money and don’t spend it. Great forced investment plan.
Thanks for your insight.
I do not invest in a stock when it is at its top and I’ve never been able to buy a stock when it is at its lowest. I do watch for down days, ex-dividend dates and quarterly/annual reports. Other than minor things like that I don’t try to time the market.
I personally watch for 52-week lows but I try not to worry about getting the price right – it’s near impossible anyhow.
The worst thing to do is to time the market … There’s always something that will or will not happen. Invest when you can and don’t wait is the best thing to do. I’ve learned it … I’ve sold all my ETF since they where not moving and it looked that it could go down and a week later they gain around 10% instead of going down …
Good call. I’ve learned over time that time in the market is my friend – then I can get on with my life 🙂 Thanks for reading and sharing Financial Tech – appreciate the bloglove.