One of the most common things new investors wonder about when it comes to getting started, is whether or not it’s a good time.
As the saying goes – there’s no time like the present.
Stock markets don’t move in a straight line and without the help of a crystal ball, there’s no way of choosing the best day to invest your money.
Even the professionals don’t have the answer.
What’s important is whether it’s the right time for you to invest, rather than worrying about what’s happening in the wider economy.
And the right time will be different for everybody.
But as a rule of thumb, if you don’t have credit cards debts or loans and you’ve got rainy-day savings to cover unexpected costs, and short-term goals – like holidays – and then you’ve got some money you can afford to put away for a few years – we suggest at least five – investing is worth considering.
Because the sooner you start, the longer your money has to grow.
Naturally, there will be ups and downs along the way and sometimes the value of your investments will fall.
But this only matters if you want to sell your investments – otherwise, it’s just a loss on paper.
And even if you do need to sell, you will only lose money if the value is lower than the amount you’d invested.
If you’ve been investing for a while and the value has gone up before it's fallen, you might still get back more than you’d put in.
Also, try and avoid knee-jerk reactions if stock markets start to fall.
Some of the worst performing days have been followed by some of the best.
So if you panic and sell because share prices have fallen, you risk missing out on the recovery.
It’s time in the market that matters, and not timing the market.
Historically, over the long-term stock markets tend to produce better returns than cash, though there are of course no guarantees .
By keeping your money invested and riding out difficult market cycles, it should have time to recover from any market downturns so you reap the longer-term benefits.
Once you feel you’re ready to start investing, we offer lots of different ways to help you get started, allowing you to be as hands-on or hands-off as you like.
But whichever option you choose, you can be confident knowing you’re with an experienced provider.
So, however involved you want to be, there’s a way to start making your money work harder with Barclays.