The current downhill of the global economy is just one of the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. With consumers unable to resume their normal purchasing behavior, businesses were forced to either cut costs, do layoffs, get creative, or shut down.
The chain reaction continued, as many people’s finances were also affected. Various investments pre-pandemic suddenly turned to losses, and there is no concrete solution for this whole mess. This is why the term “new normal” was born—chances are, things may never go back to the way it was. At least, not for a very long time.
The good news is humans are great at adapting. So, it will not be surprising if, by next year, many have already successfully adjusted in navigating the new normal. This includes dealing with investments and finances that were previously hit hard by the health crisis.
Is it a good or bad time to invest?
Due to the economic crisis, many suffered losses with their previous investments. As such, these horror stories have scared other people into withdrawing their assets, reevaluating their properties, and stopping any plans from reinvesting.
Risk is part and parcel with investing, so all of those reactions are normal. But, like how recessions and unexpected events like a pandemic can happen, you need to be prepared for it with a Plan B. Agility and objectivity are the top two things you can bring into any investment decision.
But, does that make the pandemic an inauspicious time to invest in anything else? That would probably not be the case.
Right now, stocks are cheaper than ever before. There are new ideas companies are offering every day to cater to people during, and perhaps even after, the pandemic. While the world was shocked by the initial announcement and policies brought about COVID-19, humans did what they do best: adjust and adapt.
For you to invest successfully during this time, though, you need to review your financial goals and know what you are getting into. Like any investment, there will be a risk. But, perhaps the points below can help you further assess just how ready you are for this undertaking:
- Do you have an emergency fund?
Ideally, you want to have a substantial emergency fund before you look at investing in anything. An emergency fund should cover at least three to six months’ worth of your living expenses or more if possible.
This eliminates the scare factor of having the risk involved with your financial decisions during a pandemic. At least you have a safety net if anything should go wrong—which hopefully will not happen.
If you are not feeling confident on this front, do not lose hope completely. This is more of a nice-to-have but is not always present for those who have invested before. This is especially true if you are looking at investment opportunities to recuperate from losses brought about the pandemic. Just take a look at your options here before proceeding.
- What is your timeline?
It would help if you also considered the timeline of when you would need the money. You are investing in something presumably because you want to reap the benefits and earn from it afterward—but not all investments have similar timelines when it comes to returns.
For instance, if you are looking for something short term, or around a couple of years, then you may want to save your money instead of going for investments in stocks or properties. This also applies to a medium-term timeline, which covers up to five years.
Investments take time—and you will not be able to see returns immediately. The stock market is the perfect venue for something like this, usually with gracious rewards.
- What is your risk profile?
Taking a simple quiz to find out your risk profile will help you identify which kinds of investment opportunities you should be looking into. This does not just mean tolerance with financial loss, but things like your age, timeline, and cash on hand, too.
Try asking a financial adviser for help if you are torn between multiple options. Otherwise, there are lots of material on the internet that can help diversify your financial knowledge beyond stocks, such as mutual funds, index funds, and more.
- How much are you willing to invest?
Investments are not just for the rich. There are plenty of schemes that people can participate in for just a few bucks a month, so you do not need to drain your bank account to get high gains. Manage your expectations and make sure it aligns with your financial goals and timeline, so you do not end up getting disappointed.
The right opportunity can come knocking at any time—even during a pandemic. Review your options and see which investment vehicles will work the best for you right now.