There is no right or wrong answer to this.
Markets are at best volatile and you have a pot of money which needs to be managed. Pension Fund, Life Savings, Inheritance whatever… the same challenge arises.
Let’s say investments flat line this year and deposits are paying as close to zero as makes no difference. Commodities and bonds are pretty non-descript and complicated in the same breath. Brexit also throws an additional fly in the ointment.
Then add varying management charges.
Where do you put your money?
Firstly, understand time. If yours is a short-term investment, there are some but few options. If you are investing for the long term, then the decision of when or where to invest is a little less important. If you are dripping money in on a monthly basis, for the long term, there is little to worry about – right?
Well possibly. In the short-term investment, there is very little choice for the low to mid risk investor, other than to settle for very low returns at best in the current climate. There are options, but you’re really not going to get mid digit returns without some risk. This risk is much greater if you don’t get lucky with timing. Then you have no time to make back any losses in this short-term!
If you are investing for the medium to longer term and you are open to taking some risk with your money. Then there is scope here, as time will be likely to smooth out your short-term experience.
If you are dripping money in on a monthly basis, you really want markets to stay low for now. This gives you time to average in and make the most of the volatility before markets really improve. This is called euro cost averaging(ECA) and there is a lot of logic in it. Now we get to the most important part:
What will keep you awake at night?
You see all the logic in the world is wonderful. However, if a sense that you are uncomfortable with anything leaves you awake at night worrying about your money, don’t take the decision! Go with what makes sense and then back your decision for a solid amount of time. Don’t check the markets tomorrow and the next day as there is a 50% chance they will drive you mad every day!
The decision made today may well be the best for today and tomorrow. However, it will not remain the best decision forever. Markets will change, as will personal circumstances and attitudes. It will remain very important to get ongoing good and prudent advice to make sure you are up to date with your decisions. There is one thing that is certain nothing stays the same.