Top tips for investing
- Set goals: Decide what it is that you’re trying to achieve. Where do you want to be at some point in the future? What is the final outcome you want from your investments and what is your timeframe? Think about any debt you’re carrying – is investing the right option right now? Would you be better off using your money to pay off high-interest debt (e.g. credit card, hire purchase), or to reduce your mortgage?
- Know your investor type: How much time do you have? How much volatility (ups and downs in the value of your investment) can you tolerate? How much money are you willing to lose? Our investor kickstarter will help you work this out.
- Know how you want to invest your money: What mix of investments suits your investor type? Bonds, shares, property, bank deposits? Will you invest money directly yourself or use managed funds? The investor kickstarter can help here too.
- Do some homework: Research, compare and contrast the options – or get someone to do that for you. Read the business sections of the newspaper, go online, talk to an adviser, bank manager, or accountant. It’s also wise to read any documents relating to an investment you’re considering, such as the investment statement and/or prospectus.
- Research different companies’ investment options: If you’re going to invest directly in a company, you need to find out which companies suit your investor type. Do they offer the kind of investments you’re after? What are the rates of return for each investment? What is the level of risk associated with the return?
- Research the companies themselves: What does the company do? What markets is the company in? Who is running the company? Have they ever been declared bankrupt? Are they on the Financial Markets Authority’s warning list? How is the company run? Does the board have independent directors? How has the company performed in recent years – is there a steady performance over time?
- Get the right advice: Shop around for an Authorised Financial Adviser (AFA). Authorised Financial Advisers must tell you (in a written disclosure statement) how they are paid and the impact that can have on the advice they give. Find out more about getting investment advice.
- Spread the risk: As the saying goes, we shouldn’t put all our eggs in one basket. Distribute money around different options and different companies. For example, if you’re considering high-risk investments, you can balance the risk with other investments in lower risk areas, like cash and bonds.