When is it best to invest? Financial journalist shares tips

Source: 1News

Financial journalist Frances Cook has shared her tips on investing amid a market which is looking "a little grim".

Behind personal finance podcast Cooking the Books, Cook remarked the stock market is up, down and sideways at the moment.

Despite this, she said there are still "plenty of opportunities" for people to invest, as long as they're careful.

Cook said those looking to invest should steer towards index funds or exchange traded funds as they are "safe".

READ MORE: Markets continue to tank globally - what it means for you

She added the money people are putting into such funds should be left there for at least five years as such a move is a "general rule for investing".

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An investments editor at BusinessDesk NZ, Cook remarked "slow, steady, cautious investing at a time like this" is getting people "bargains".

Cook also advised people to "start out small" when investing.

She said investing $1 was fine as most funds allow people to invest as little as 1 cent.

People will also get ahead with $5 to $20 per week making a difference, Cook said.

"I think starting small is actually fantastic as it keeps emotions out of the way and you always want them out of the way."

Cook also said cash savings are "great at a time like this". They are good for people who may need the money in a year, she said.

Bonds are good for people who may need the money in under five years, Cook said, while something like shares are good for people who want to invest for five years or more.

Cook said people should use such money timelines to guide their decisions.

She also said now is a "brilliant time" for parents to be investing on behalf of their children.

"Five dollars a week will go really far once you give it a chance to grow."