When’s the best time to invest? When you have money
Sir John Templeton is one of the founders of Franklin Templeton Investments. When he speaks, listeners often ask, When is the best time to invest? He invariably replies, Whenever you have the money. While past performance is not a guarantee of future results, history has borne him out so far. Here are some of the reasons why many investors have avoided the stock market over the past 75 years: The Great Depression. Pearl Harbor. The assassination of President Kennedy. The Vietnam War. All-time-high interest rates in the early 1980s. The terrorist events of Sept. 11, 2001, and the war on terrorism. High energy prices.You can always find a reason to stay away from stocks if thats what youre looking for. However, we believe an intelligent investor gives more weight to long-term trends than to the daily events that make headlines.When you invest in any kind of security, you do face risks. The most obvious is loss of money. But there are other kinds of risk as well, risks that affect all investors and all non-investors, like the loss of purchasing power. Obviously, putting your money under a mattress or in a certificate of deposit may not even keep up with inflation, to say nothing of the additional erosion of taxes.Why do most investors fail to meet their investment goals? We believe there are three main reasons: They have no plan. They select the wrong funding vehicles, such as investments that dont outpace inflation and taxes over long periods. They let their emotions influence their decisions.In our view, the secret to investing is not timing the market but time in the market. By investing the same amount of money at regular intervals, you can avoid the temptation to time the market. This powerful long-term investment technique is called dollar-cost averaging. It helps you buy more shares when prices are low, fewer when prices are high.Dollar-cost averaging in itself doesnt ensure a profit. If you have to sell your shares at a time when their price is lower than the average price you paid for them, youll have a loss. Before starting such a program, you should consider your ability to continue buying at periods of low prices. But dollar-cost averaging can reduce the price you have to get to break even.As mentioned earlier, you can always find a reason to stay away from stocks. Again, past performance does not guarantee future results. But over the long term, the stock market has risen and has preserved and enhanced investors purchasing power. For more information on how investing in stocks and stock mutual funds may help you reach your financial goals, talk with your financial adviser.The accuracy and completeness of this material are not guaranteed. The opinions expressed are those of Fraser M. Horn and Dudley M. Irwin and are not necessarily those of Berthel Fisher or its affiliates. The material is distributed solely for information purposes and is not a solicitation of an offer to buy any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy. Provided courtesy of Fraser M. Horn and Dudley M. Irwin, investment advisers with Berthel Fisher in Edwards. Registered representative of and securities offered through Berthel Fisher & Co. Financial Services Inc. Member NASD/SIPC. 1st & Main Investment Advisors is independent of BFCFS.