“The key to investing is not assessing how much an industry is going to affect society, or how much it will grow, but rather determining the competitive advantage of any given company and, above all, the durability of that advantage.”- Warren Buffet.

The right time to get back in the market may be just around the corner. With global economies sinking, sometimes dramatically, it can be a scary thought to put your hard-earned money on the line. However, a smart investor will realise that golden opportunities are appearing if proper research is done.

It has not dropped dramatically since the financial collapse of 2008-2009, but it is still in familiar territory. It may take another another year or more for a large upswing in the markets, but at least we hope that the Dow will not drop below previous lows. That may bring hope and some peace of mind about starting to invest again.

For investors, the operative question is simple, albeit very broad: In the midst of this crisis, what do we do?

A good rule of thumb: If a stock you are considering for investment depends upon a speedy return to normal, you should be looking elsewhere. Warren Buffett has often said that you should invest in businesses that you wouldn’t mind owning if the stock market were closed for an extended period.

Dollar Cost Averaging

The concept of Dollar Cost Averaging comes to mind in the current market situation. It is the process of buying stocks or similar investments on a regular basis, such as once a month, using a fixed amount of money. When prices are low, you are able to buy more shares. When prices are high, you buy fewer. In this way, you are able to take advantage of temporary low prices. This is especially helpful for long-term investments, such as retirement accounts. It may go against human nature to buy stocks when everything is falling and red but in fact it can lead to a bigger payoff if done correctly.

Don’t Wait Too Long

When will this Corona-19Pandemic end? Who knows? But, I am confident that this too shall pass. We have been through wars, terrorist attacks, inflation, stagflation, deflation, SARS, Ebola, AIDS; the list goes on. Through all of that, people suffered; as a society, we always pulled through. This time should not be different.

As soon as you believe the markets will not drop much more, that is the time to start investing. When an upswing begins, it may happen so fast that you will miss a good portion of it. There are literally billions of dollars of cash on the sidelines, just waiting to go back into the market when the time is right. You can imagine what impact that might have on prices because of a surging demand but limited supply of stocks and mutual funds. Don’t wait too long!

Which Companies to Buy

There are a lot of low-priced stocks right now. Don’t jump into any old stock just because the price is low. There may be good reasons for it, such as the company being dangerously close to bankruptcy. One popular example is GM. Their stock price has dropped incredibly far. Is it a good deal? The government will probably not allow them to go into bankruptcy because that could have catastrophic affects on the country. Even if they survive, though, they may not thrive, and the stock price might hold its value or drop even more. This is just an example of how difficult it can be to make a trading decision at the present time.

You also need to consider how the company is adapting to the economy. Are they offering low-price items to their customers? Are they reducing expenses significantly, such as layoffs, to stay in business? Do they have access to enough credit to stay operational? These are very important questions to consider before making a trade.

Will the Economy Get Worse?

This is probably the single most important factor that traders are considering right now. Why put your money into investments if they are just going to drop again? The government is trying hard to stabilize the economy, but there are many experts who believe there is more doom and gloom in the future, with more foreclosures, bank failures, and lost jobs on the way. A lot of this depends on how the government handles the situation and how the public perceives their actions.

If the public believes things are stabilized, they will begin to spend and invest again, businesses will have more money and they can hire more people, and the economy can begin to thrive again. When this will happen? Nobody knows for sure. Hopefully soon it will, but it may be much later.

Lastly don’t FOMO get the better of you. (Fear of missing out)