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When Is the Best Time to Buy Stocks in a Recession?
The best time to buy stocks is when the NBER announces the start of a recession. It takes the bureau at least six months to determine if a recession has started; occasionally, it takes longer. The average post-WWII recession lasts 11.1 months. Often, by the time the bureau has figured out the start of the recession, it's close to the end.
(Caution: Kiplinger's has good information, but their site has so many busy video ads and such that it slows down my computer.)

Things could certainly "be different this time," since the averages include the era prior to Fed intervention and before FDIC insurance. Things are more interrelated in 2020, and information moves much faster.

Here's an interesting site from the NBER regarding cycles:
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An economic recession is defined as 2 quarters of declining economic activity, often in terms of GDP.

2 quarters is 6 months. So, the NBER's designation of a recession being a lagging indicator, is not a surprise?

Or that it's at least 6 months "late"?

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Its not uncommon these days for a recession to be over by the time its announced. The time to buy in that case is before.

Beyond that it is hard to generalize. I think you have to watch the charts and decide when to take the leap. False bottoms are not uncommon. Much depends on investors confidence that things will get better and data that confirms those ideas.

Clearly this is risky investing. A finger on the trigger can be useful when or if things go counter to hopes or expectations.
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Well - payday would be a good time as long as you have a good emergency fund set up.

"Dollar cost averaging" tends to come to mind at these sorts of times. Recognize that
timing the market is a crap shoot, you try to buy companies that due diligence has put on
your "follow list" and buy at reasonable prices - not caring too much about the price other
than not paying excessive amounts for the earnings potential.

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I'm with Howie. Trying to time precisely seems to be rather risky, unless it's "house money" (profits) or "extra" money.

I like to have some in various funds and a few stocks that I like, such as BGS, which I have noted before. Food stocks would seem rather logical, generally. But not all.

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