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Coronavirus: Why you’ll regret not buying shares during this volatility

If you don’t end up buying shares during this period I think you’ll end up regretting it.

Cast your mind back to the GFC. If you were too young to remember it, just imagine what it was like. To some people it seemed like the end of capitalism itself. The financial world was imploding.

Why would you want to invest during a time like that when things looked so scary? Lots of people didn’t.

Think about American investors who were scarred by the GFC, lots of people missed out on a strong recovery in the final seven months of 2009. People worried that the world would swing back to painful collapse – they missed out on more gains in 2010. Then Europe, particularly Greece, looked like it might tip over during 2011 and 2012, so perhaps they didn’t invest – more gains were missed in those years. They may have then said that the easy money has been made – 2013 to near the end of 2018 was one of the strongest and pain-free bull runs in history.

There’s always going to be a reason not to invest during this period.

Investors are really not sure about major ASX banks like National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) with business cashflow issues. But you don’t have to invest in those businesses.

Growth shares like Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) and WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC) have been smashed. Have their earnings in 2025 been affected to the extent that the share prices have dropped recently? I don’t think so.

Don’t get me wrong, I am concerned for the major banks – it could be a tough time, but I’m sure they’ll pull through.

Share prices don’t drop for no reason

Investors don’t decide to send share prices plunging for no reason. It’s only a significant event that knocks people’s confidence. This outbreak and raising interest rates back in December 2018 are genuine reasons for investors to get nervous. But it’s the best time to buy shares.

Just look at a price graph of the share market this century and if you were to ignore all the reports, the news and the politicians – the best time to buy would have been March 2009. To take advantage of those opportunities you have to be brave and buy whilst most others are selling.

It’s impossible to call the bottom when there are so many different moving parts with this outbreak. We may have already reached the bottom. We could fall another 25% if a global recession is coming no-one knows. But share prices are definitely a lot lower.

With interest rates so low, the share prices of quality businesses like Altium, A2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M), Australian Ethical Investment Limited (ASX: AEF), MFF Capital Investments Ltd (ASX: MFF) and Magellan High Conviction Trust (ASX: MHH) are looking too cheap to ignore.

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Tristan Harrison owns shares of Altium, Australian Ethical Investment Ltd., and Magellan Flagship Fund Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Australian Ethical Investment Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of A2 Milk, Altium, National Australia Bank Limited, and WiseTech Global. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Australian Ethical Investment Ltd. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.