Recent volatility in the stock market shows us how important it is to be prepared to take advantage of opportunities. When the stock market drops, or when an investment you have been eying goes “on sale,” you want to be able take advantage of the opportunity. This means having money ready to invest in the opportunities that arise. As you set up your budget, make sure you give thought to the future and your ability to seize chances that come in your way.
Budgeting for Regular Investment
One of the best things you can do is budget for regular investments. A bit of money that can be regularly invested as part of your dollar cost averaging plan can be a good way to develop the habit of investing. Whether you are building an income portfolio, or saving up for retirement, dollar cost averaging can help you out.
Look at your budget, and identify money leaks. Plug those up, and then allocate the money you are saving to a regular investment account. Building little by little ensures that you are always putting money into an investment, and that some of your money is always working on your behalf.
Preparing for Bigger Investment Opportunities
Of course, sometimes you want to be ready for bigger opportunities. The amount you use for dollar cost averaging doesn’t usually represent a huge amount of capital. You want to be able to seize certain opportunities that crop up. This means having a chunk of capital available to you, just in case you have the chance to get a value stock at a bargain price, or if you get the chance to invest in something else.
If you factor this into your plans, you can begin setting money aside for future investments. Take a look at your budget, and determine how much you can set aside each month. Then, make sure you do so. Consider automating the process so that the money is put aside without a thought. You should put it somewhere somewhat liquid, so that you have quick access to the money when an opportunity arrives. This can mean keeping it in a savings account, or earning a small yield on it as it sits in an investment account.
Realize, though, that the liquidity of your money means that it won’t be gaining a lot of interest, so you do need to be on the lookout for good opportunities along the way. Otherwise, your money will be next to useless.