Should You Buy Index Funds When the Market Is Down?

If you’re just getting into trading index funds, you want to make sure you know when to buy them so you can make a decent profit on every trade. It takes some practice, but you’ll eventually get a feel for the timing. But should you buy them when the market is down?

Yes, you should buy index funds when the market is down. “Buy low, sell high” is a classic investment strategy and almost no investment professional would ever disagree with this approach. Doing so allows your investments to sizably grow once the market recovers from a short-term fall.

That being said, you must always remember that the longer your money remains invested in an index fund, the more opportunity it will have to grow with compounding. Therefore, for optimum returns, you must not make the mistake of never entering the market in anticipation of a correction.

Investing in financial instruments is hard, and index funds are no exception. There is a lot you need to consider when making a big investment decision. In this article, I have covered most topics you need to be thinking about when considering an index fund investment. So, read on for an insightful discussion.  

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When Is the Best Time To Buy Index Funds?

There’s technically no agreed-upon time to buy. If you don’t have any index funds, you may want to consider buying them now. No one can see the future, so the best time to invest is right now. 

The best time to buy index funds is as soon as possible. The sooner that you buy into the stock market, the longer that your money has to grow. Index funds offer compounding, which helps your investment grow at a faster rate. Since your returns earn returns, your portfolio returns will snowball.

While you can turn a significant profit by buying when the stock market is down, you’re sure to earn compounding whenever you invest. Because of this, many professional investors will always say that now is the best time to buy. Before you buy, however, you’ll need to research your options to make sure you’re making the right decision.

The longer you have the funds, the more compounded return it will net you! 

When To Buy Index Funds?

You can technically buy index funds at any time, as there’s no set strategy. However, many professional investors believe that it’s best to buy when the market’s low, then sell when it’s high. 

Doing so can give you a significant profit. 

Index funds are also very low risk, as they’ll never lose all of their value. While that means you won’t get a larger reward, many people choose them as the safer option. These funds also have historically recovered from every market crash. 

Buying when the market’s down gives you access to better prices. 

You might be able to invest more into your index funds than you could when the market’s high. You’ll need to learn to track the market and make smart decisions on your own. 

If you need some help getting started, I recommend the Investing QuickStart Guide on The book provides you with all the information you need to work with index funds. The writer has more than 30 year’s worth of experience in investing and uses the book as a platform to share his knowledge. It’s well worth the read! 

Why Buy When the Market Is Down?

When the market’s down, you can buy index funds at a lower price than usual. This fact stems from how index funds operate; they closely track and follow the stock market. 

So, when it’s not doing so well, the index funds also drop in value. 

However, this is an excellent opportunity to invest while the prices are down for those looking to buy. You’ll then want to:

  1. Hold them. 
  2. Collect dividends. 
  3. Sell when the stock market is high. 

Doing so allows you to earn a lot of money back on your investment. Many successful investors often say “buy low, sell high” when talking about trading index funds. This strategy should work out for most people! 

In short, buying when the prices are low gives you a lot more room to profit from the sale. You’ll need to learn to track the market, as there’s always a high after every low, so don’t stress too much about the lows when you are investing for the long term.

Why Compounding Is Important?

You always want to consider compounding when making investments. This form of return uses a formula to determine how much money you receive. That amount immediately goes back into the fund, allowing it to grow. 

Then, the new amount runs through the formula again, which repeats until you withdraw or sell the investment. 

That means the investment continues growing, and as it grows faster the more money you have in it. If you allow the index fund to grow for a long time, it should net great profits for you. 

This benefit is part of the index fund, whether you invest in a high or low market period. 

Overall, compounding is significant. You’ll want to invest in index funds soon so that you can make the most of this benefit. This quick YouTube video explains the compounding in more detail: 

How Index Funds Follow the Market?

Index funds track a particular section of the stock market, which is due to their composition. They include various stocks and bonds that directly link to the activity on the market, which follow the need to match their risk and return. 

The fund manager behind the fund creates a system that mirrors a set index. 

This method stems from the belief that the stock market always “bounces back,” so the funds should do the same. When the funds match the performance of the market, they should always do well in the long term. 

You may need to hold onto them for a while to see significant benefits. 

Alternative Ways To Use Index Funds

While many investors use index funds to earn a return from their interest, you can use them in multiple strategies. Most commonly, people use index funds as part of their retirement plans. 

Index funds are also great for beginners. The investment is pretty low-risk and tends to pay more than buying individual stocks. According to Investopedia, index fund investors are unlikely to ever lose everything. You can always recover a good portion of the fund in the long run. 

Overall, you’re sure to find plenty of uses for index funds. This investment should be part of everyone’s portfolio since they come with several low-risk benefits. 

What Are Index Funds?

As a reminder, index funds are often part of a passive investment strategy since they generate income slowly, without your input. These funds have fewer fees associated with them when compared to other investment options. 

An index fund is a group of stocks or bonds that follow the performance of a financial market index. These funds are mutual funds or an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that tracks a specific section of the market. Many people hold them for retirement investments, but there are plenty of ways to use them. 

In short, the index fund closely tracks and replicates what the market does. These funds are essential for any portfolio, even if they have low turnover rates. You’re sure to find many uses for them! 

Author’s Recommendations: Top Trading and Investment Resources To Consider

Before concluding this article, I wanted to share few trading and investment resources that I have vetted, with the help of 50+ consistently profitable traders, for you. I am confident that you will greatly benefit in your trading journey by considering one or more of these resources.


You should try to buy low and sell high when you plan on selling an index fund. However, you can benefit from compounding that these investments have to offer. Time is on your side. The longer you invest, the more interest your money earns. 

This feature makes them a great passive income strategy.

You want to make sure you know when it’s on a downswing so that you can buy the funds at the appropriate time. Then, you’ll want to sell when the market’s up. Doing so can net you significant profits. 

BEFORE YOU GO: Don’t forget to check out my latest article – ‘7 Proven Steps To Profitable Trading. I surveyed 5000+ traders (and interviewed 50+ consistently profitable traders) to identify 7 statistically proven steps that will help you become a consistently profitable trader. No matter where you are in your trading journey today, I am confident that you will find this article helpful!

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    1. Can an index fund investor lose everything? (n.d.). Investopedia.
    2. Compound interest definition. (n.d.). Investopedia.
    3. Index fund. (n.d.).
    4. Investor bulletin: Index funds. (2018, August 6).
    5. Mutual funds and ETFs. (n.d.). A vibrant market is at its best when it works for everyone. |

    Navdeep Singh

    Navdeep has been an avid trader/investor for the last 10 years and loves to share what he has learned about trading and investments here on TradeVeda. When not managing his personal portfolio or writing for TradeVeda, Navdeep loves to go outdoors on long hikes.

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