Having served as a financial service professional my entire career and I am repeatedly asked two questions: “When is a good time to invest?” and “Where’s a good place to put my money?”
I struggled tremendously with my response when I was a novice, but now that I’m a seasoned pro, it’s straightforward. I would always get tripped up on trying to sound smart or talk long enough to assure the person I knew what I was talking about. As I’ve matured, responding is so much easier. My answer to the first question, NOW! Today is a great day to invest (in something), and tomorrow will be too! My response to the second question, please take a look at exhibit A.
Now, both of your questions have been answered, so you can move forward and start investing. But wait, just giving you a simple answer isn’t enough. I know you will have some follow-up questions, and now comes the pivotal point in this exchange.
You’ve got two options:
1. Schedule a time with the professional and dig a little deeper about what you’re trying to accomplish with the money you want to invest. PLEASE keep this in mind…this meeting might cost you money. A financial service professional also has a family, bills, goals, etc. They are running a business. Just ask yourself, would you be okay working every month and not getting paid? If someone is offering free assistance, it will generally be limited in scope because whatever you are discussing could have been found/read on the internet. Thus, you need to decide if it’s worth you paying someone to help you get it done. If you are concerned after someone quotes you a price, make sure to shop around a bit (but not too long) to see what else the market is offering. Keep in mind, if you are paying someone, chances are you are serious and will follow through on things since you’ve put some “skin” in the game. Generally, people don’t truly value free advice; thus, they rarely take action after receiving it. You know yourself, so the decision is up to you.
2. Use one of the many do-it-yourself platforms that various financial institutions offer. With this option, you will be required to do your research and decide what you want to invest in. All of the platforms are extremely user-friendly, so you shouldn’t have any issues if you are tech-savvy.
You are now equipped with a few options to help you start (or reviewing) your investment plan. Once you have made a decision on which option, you have to act promptly. PLEASE do your best to avoid the awful disease called “paralysis by analysis.” The stock market doesn’t care how long it’s going to take for you to make a decision; you just need to do it. I would seriously hate for you to miss out on an opportunity because you’re still “thinking” about what to do.