Is the start of a new year a good time to invest? Thousands of people have turned to Google for advice figuring it out.

It’s a good question, too. The stock market is known for being unpredictable and erratic – going up one day and then reversing course the very next day. We can understand why some investors are wary about wading in, but that shouldn’t mean sitting on the sidelines. Over the long term, the stock market tends to rise, so you might as well get started sooner rather than later.

But what if I invest right before a correction? 

One worry that holds investors back is the fear that they might invest right before the market dips. That’s a valid fear. After all, the stock market cannot keep going up indefinitely.

Here’s the truth: If you do happen to invest just before a market correction, your short-term returns will be affected. There’s no avoiding it. But the longer you stay invested, the more likely that your eventual returns will be closer to the long-term average.

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