If you're looking to get a better return from your money than you can from your bank account, then the time might be right to think about investing for the future. Before you begin, here are some golden rules to consider.
HOLD SOME CASH
You'll need to have ready access to a cash fund to cover everyday living expenses and unforeseen expenditure. Obviously, there's no point rushing into investment if you've got substantial debts or if you know you're going to have to make major financial commitments that will take up all your spare cash. A vital part of your financial planning must be providing adequately for retirement, not least because of the tax breaks available on pension contributions.
DEFINE YOUR GOALS
You need to be clear why you're investing and what your goals are. The sort of life events that people often invest for include a child's education, a daughter's wedding, to repay a mortgage, retire at 55 - the list can be a long one. Knowing your time horizon helps ensure you put in place the right investment strategy for your needs.
KNOW YOUR RISK PROFILE
You will need to establish how much risk you're comfortable with, and the impact that has on the rate of return you can realistically expect to earn. You should bear in mind that the level of return can vary from year to year, and that past performance is not a guide or a guarantee of future returns. The value of shares can go up and down.
GO FOR DIVERSITY
A portfolio that includes a range of assets alongside shares, such as bonds, property, and cash, has been shown to perform better over the longer term than one that is only invested in one type of asset. This process is known as asset allocation, and is almost always the starting point when deciding where to invest.
GETTING INVESTMENT ADVICE MAKES SENSE
We will be able to help you in a variety of ways. Firstly, we can work with you to review and assess your current situation, any existing holdings you may have, your family circumstances and tax position. Drawing on our expertise and extensive knowledge of the market, we will recommend the asset allocation that will meet your requirements, together with the investment options that are suitable for you.
While building a potentially profitable portfolio means taking a longer-term approach, we will want to schedule regular reviews with you so that your investments can, if necessary, be altered or rebalanced in response to economic and market forces.
The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. The past is not a guide to future performance and past performance may not necessarily be repeated.