The 2 Best Times to Invest

I am approached by people every day that ask me for investment advice.

Many of them ask me, “Paul, I know you don’t have a crystal ball. But, is the market high right now? Or “Are we going to tank again?”

What they are really asking is, “Is now a good time to invest?”

So, I tell them, “The truth is that there are two great times to invest.”

They get excited and ask, “When?”

I respond: “The two best times to invest are: 20 years ago, or today.”

This is not the answer most people are expecting to hear. Most of the time it is not what they want to hear. But it is the truth. The two best times to invest are 20 years ago, or today.

Too often we delay acting because we want to wait until the right moment. Many believe that the right moment might be when the market is on the rise, or when there is a new exciting opportunity. This is the wrong mindset. You can’t become a successful investor by not investing and sitting on the sideline.

How many of us wish we had started to invest our money 20 years earlier than we did? Where would we be? How will we feel 20 years from now if we don’t invest now? And how will we feel 20 years from now if we did decide to start investing today?

Everyone wants to know if today is a good time to invest, and the answer is yes. The answer is yes not because I know that the market is going to be at an all time high in the future. The answer is yes because if you start investing with a global diversified portfolio and stick to an investment plan long term you will receive a positive return on your investment.

Why do people wait to invest instead of investing today?

Fear. It is the fear they will not get as high of returns on their investments if they invest today instead of at ‘the perfect time’. Or it could also be the fear that the market might suffer a large decline again. We know that the more aware we are of our investments and the nature of the market the less fear we will have in the future (read more about fear here). We also know that historically for every one negative year the market has, it has three positive years (read more about yearly market outcomes here).

In Summary

The two best times to invest are: 20 years ago, and today. If you want to be a successful investor, there is no excuse for putting off investing until tomorrow.