ARE YOU READY TO MAKE A BIG INVESTMENT?

Investing can be a terrifying business for any investor, whether a beginner or experienced. Yet, these risks often pay off and tying up your money can reap huge benefits. Before you decide to make the jump and invest large amounts of money, you will need to assess your finances to work out whether it will be an affordable move.

Here are some top tips to keep in mind to ensure you are ready to make an investment.

1. Pay off outstanding debts

It may seem like an obvious statement, but paying off any debts should be prioritised over investments. Allowing your debts to mount up whilst securing money into an investment isn’t an ideal way to make the most of your money. The interest mounting up on the debts is likely to outweigh the returns on any investment, so always aim to pay it all off before making such a huge commitment.

2. Make sure you have enough savings

It may not be the best idea to move all of your hard-earned savings into an investment. As previously mentioned, any investment can be a risk, therefore you may lose huge sums of cash if you make a wrong decision. Always ensure you have enough savings to fall back on should anything go wrong, so you are completely covered. One top tip would be to save up at least three months worth of a comfortable monthly wage before securing your money into an investment.

3. Understand the risks

Before you make any investment whether long-term or short-term, you will need to identify the risks. Usually, the understanding of risk comes with a great deal of experience, but for first-timers, it is often a guessing game.

Avoid investments with a high risk if you simply can’t afford to lose large sums of money and remain with low-risk investments until you are financially able to step it up a gear. Apart from the financial side of things, you will also need to understand the physiological impacts of risk you can mentally cope with. It is often down to how you perceive risk and whether or not you can deal with the extreme fluctuations in the stock market.

If you wish to speak to one of our friendly investment team, please get in touch today.

COMMON EARLY INVESTMENT MISTAKES

Effective investing can be a great way to improve your financial state. However, it’s an easy thing to get wrong if you don’t have appropriate guidance. Here are some of the most common mistakes to look out for during your first forays into the market.

 

Not establishing firm goals

Though many beginner investors are happy to take some risk in their favoured markets, they often don’t know how much risk they should take. Why? Because they don’t set specific goals for their portfolio. If you don’t know what your goals are, it’s a lot tougher to know how much risk you should be taking.

 

Trying to jump on recent short-term successes

It’s important to remember that short-term performance is no guarantee of long-term success. Perhaps the biggest mistake investors make is piling their money into a stock or market that’s recently skyrocketed. This is an easy way to lose a lot of money quickly. There is a lot more security in taking a long-term approach.

 

Not diversifying

‘Never put all your eggs in one basket’ is a saying that’s endured for a reason, and it’s very appropriate when investing. Thousands of people lost savings by investing all their money in property just before the financial crisis. It’s important to have a varied portfolio that focuses on different things, from property and cash to interest and physical items.

 

Going in too deep, too early

It’s a simple fact that some types of investment are very complicated. Complicated enough that if you don’t really understand them, you’ll have a very hard time achieving success in them. Most investments contain some form of small print, and if you don’t have the necessary experience, it’s very easy to get caught out.

Not having an efficient portfolio

This is a common mistake in those that invest without consulting specialists first. An inefficient investment is essentially one in which the potential returns are too low for the amount of risk taken. Different assets behave in different ways, and it’s important to ensure that your portfolio is balanced in your favour.

 

Get in touch

If you’re at all unsure about how to get into investing, give us a call today. We’re specialists in getting great investment results for our clients.

WHAT DOES THE SNAP GENERAL ELECTION MEAN FOR INVESTMENTS?

On 18th April, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the UK would be returning to the polls to vote in a snap general election in June. While opinion polls point to an increased Conservative majority, how will the unexpected election impact on the investment market?

 

Strengthened pound?

Immediately after May’s announcement, the pound, which had been struggling ever since the vote to leave the European Union was confirmed last year, rallied. According to Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, this was down to what the markets identified as a likely ‘safe result’.

“The pound was the big winner from news that a UK general election is in the pipeline, as currency markets bet on the current Government winning a greater majority,” he said.

However, the increase in the value of the pound isn’t necessarily a good thing for investors, especially those who have their money tucked away in stock. This is because many of the big movers and shakers on the stock market, such as BP, Shell and HSBC, earn their revenues in dollars. A stronger pound means a weaker dollar in comparison, hence the pressure applied to the FTSE 100, which fell by 2.6% last week.

 

Election uncertainty

Even though May is currently polling 15 to 20 points above her rival Jeremy Corbyn, an election on the horizon spells uncertainty, particularly in a climate where shock results have become the norm. Adrian Lowcock, investment director at Architas, highlights the fact that markets tend to dislike uncertainty, saying “The market has begun to price this in and there is likely to be an ‘uncertainty discount’ on the UK stock market until the election result is known.” Investors, therefore, will be faced with a decision: to gamble on the current situation and hope it turns out well for them, or to wait until the election is over.

 

Pensions

The election could herald a change in pension policy. If the Conservatives do win a large majority, they could seek to reduce pension tax relief or even abandon the triple-lock policy which means the state pension rises by at least 2.5% each year. However, would any party risk including such policies in its manifesto? Tom Selby, senior analyst at investment firm AJ Bell, believes this is unlikely.

“Going into an election on a manifesto promise to increase the State Pension Age would be extremely risky,” he said. “It would be no surprise to see the Conservatives quietly shelve any decision on this until after the vote is done and dusted.”

 

Whatever happens in the election, investors will have to keep their fingers on the pulse if their money is to grow.