Top of main content

When is a good time to invest?

If you're planning to invest for the long term, it may not matter what the markets are doing today.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether to invest.

It’s about time, not timing

There’s a misconception that investing is about trying to time the market. This means buying when prices are low and selling when they’re high. But no one can know for sure what the markets are going to do. 

Rather than trying to time the market, it might be better to focus on time in the market. Most investments are described as a medium to long-term commitment. You should be prepared to invest for at least 5 years to give you a chance to ride out any short-term fluctuations.  

Historically, markets tend to rise over time. There may be short-term fluctuations – even some decrease in value along the way. But if you have an easy-access emergency fund to cover any unexpected costs, you'll be less likely to have to sell your investments during a downturn. And you’ll be able to give your investments time to recover from any losses.

Remember that past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Markets can go down as well as up and there’s always a risk you could get back less than you put in.

Making your money go further

Savings accounts are generally seen as the safest way to save. However, interest rates can go up or down. When interest rates are low, the rate of interest you earn on your savings might be less than the rate of inflation. This means the money you save buys you less over time.

If you're willing to leave your investments untouched for at least 5 years, investing can potentially offer better returns than simply saving your money. Keep in mind – no investments are without risk but in return for a certain degree of risk, you get the opportunity to make your money work harder.

Explore: Saving vs investing

Making the ride less bumpy

When you invest, the value of your investment will change in response to what’s happening in the markets. These short-term fluctuations are a normal part of investing.

One way to make the ride less bumpy is to diversify. This is when you place your money in a range of different investments, rather than just one. The idea is that losses to one investment could be offset by gains to another. It’s more commonly known as ‘not putting all your eggs in one basket’.

The good news is you don’t have to be an expert investor to diversify. You can do it by buying into a ready-made portfolio. Also known as multi-asset funds, these types of investments are designed to stay within your chosen level of risk.

Making it a habit

Another way to help beat volatility in the market is to invest some money each month. This averages out the price of the investments you buy. In months when the markets are down, your investment will buy more units. And in months when markets are high, you’ll buy less – but profits might be greater.

When you invest regularly, it also reduces the risk of investing a lump sum when prices are overly high and susceptible to a short-term fall. 

With HSBC, you can invest regularly either online or via the app.

Choose between a range of ready-made portfolios and then select the level of risk you’re most comfortable with. Eligibility criteria and some fees apply. 

Guide to investment goals

Discover how to create, track, and manage your investment goals in the latest version of the app. Remember – the value of your investments can go up and down and you could get back less than you invest. Eligibility criteria & fees apply.