MU Extension MU Extension       University of Missouri    ●    Columbia    ●    Kansas City       Rolla     ●    St. Louis - Money Matters - Consumer Action


Finance Quick Answers



When is the best time to start investing?

The best time to start investing was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.

Investing can be a little scary but learning more about investing will help to ensure your future. Market corrections or downturns are a natural part of investing. So if the financial markets do take a plunge, simply relax and remember these investment tips:

  • Market slumps don’t last. Historically, markets have always bounced back and then some.
  • A buy-and-hold strategy works better than dipping in and out of the market. In general, plan to hold on to an investment for three to five years or more.
  • No risk, no reward. You don’t need to invest in get-rich-quick schemes to get ahead; however, try to take at least enough investment risk to outpace inflation and taxes.
  • Keep your eye on the big picture. What matters most is how well your whole portfolio is performing, not how well any single investment is performing.



Source: Loose Change 1999 calendar.





Written by:
Sandra McKinnon, Consumer & Family Economics Specialist, University of Missouri Extension

Cynthia E. Crawford, Ph.D., Consumer & Family Economics Specialist, University of Missouri Extension











Can't Find Your Question Here? Try Searching Our Quick Answer Knowledge Base

Last update: Monday, July 28, 2008




University of Missouri logo links to

Site Administrator: 
Copyright  ADA  Equal Opportunity

MissouriFamilies is produced by the College of Human Environmental Sciences,
Extension Division, University of Missouri-Columbia