Is now a good time to invest? An expert weighs in – MSN Money

Posted: September 20, 2020 at 10:50 pm

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The Penny Hoarder Is now a good time to invest?

Heres a provocative question: Is this a good time to invest in stocks?

Its a good question, too. After all, the stock market this year has been shooting up and down like a roller coaster. Its been volatile. Unpredictable. Wild. We can understand if you might feel reluctant before wading in.

So we asked a certified financial planner for advice. Robin Hartill, a CFP whos also an editor and financial advice columnist for The Penny Hoarder, weighed in.

Her advice: Take the long view. The stock market will grow your money over time, so you might as well get started sooner rather than later.

The timing of your investment matters much less than how much time you have to invest, Hartill says. The S&P 500 has delivered inflation-adjusted returns of about 7% per year on average for the past 50 years. The cost of waiting for the perfect time to invest is high. Youre missing out on long-term growth.

Again, you have to take the long view here. Thats what investing is all about.

If you were hoping to make a quick buck off the stock market, now may not be a great time, she says. Were still in a recession, but the stock market has recovered. But true investing isnt about making a quick buck. Its about growing your money over time.

Not sure how to get started? You could start small.

Investing doesnt require you to start throwing thousands of dollars at full shares of stocks. In fact, with an app called Stash, you can get started with as little as $1.*

Stash lets you choose from hundreds of stocks and funds to build your own investment portfolio. It makes it simple by breaking them down into categories based on your personal goals.

Plus, youre investing in fractions of shares, which means you can invest in stocks you wouldnt normally be able to afford.

For instance, Amazon stock has been doing pretty well, but a single share of Amazon stock costs more than $3,000. With Stash, its easy to buy a piece of Amazon if you cant afford a whole share.

Hartill recommends budgeting a certain amount of money to invest each month, no matter what.

Rather than trying to time investments based on what the market is doing, the best way for most investors to build wealth is to practice dollar-cost averaging, Hartill says. Budget a certain amount each month to put in stocks and automatically invest it, regardless of whether the market is up or down.

"Some people may not like this approach because theyre hoping to pinpoint the exact moment the market has bottomed out, but it rarely works out that way. Instead, people miss out on the best days of the market that often follow a crash and often wind up overpaying for stocks. Consistency is a much better strategy than market timing."

If you sign up for Stash now (it takes two minutes), Stash will give you $5 after you add $5 to your investment account. Subscription plans start at $1 a month.**

* For Securities priced over $1,000, purchase of fractional shares starts at $0.05.

** Youll also bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the ETFs in your account, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash and the custodian.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Is now a good time to invest? An expert weighs in - MSN Money

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September 20th, 2020 at 10:50 pm

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