If you’re new to investing, knowing where to start can appear a daunting task. The reality is that people should start saving and investing as early as possible. The power of compounding provides a huge advantage to those who can put money aside and invest in the early stages of their lives and careers – and building an investment portfolio is one proven way to grow money and wealth.
Every investor needs to ask themselves the same basic questions before getting started. You need to have a clear understanding of your investment goals. What are you trying to achieve? Are you looking for growth, income or both? How much risk are you willing to take on
SET YOUR GOALS
With a clear goal in mind, you can create a realistic plan for achieving your objectives within a certain time frame. Choosing the right investing strategy is important when shaping your financial plan and a goals-based approach to investing focuses on reaching life’s goals versus trying to get high returns on your investment portfolio.
Investors and retirees looking for reassurance during challenging stock market times can take heart from some time-tested investing principles. These principles can help you build an effective long-term strategy designed to achieve your financial goals and build financial wealth.
CREATE A PLAN & STICK TO IT
It is one thing to have a target, but a sound investment strategy can make the difference between simply hoping for the best and actually achieving your investment goals. Investing often is just as important as starting early. This way, investing remains a priority for you throughout the year – not just around certain deadlines. Having a disciplined approach can help you build more wealth over time.
When you invest regularly, you can also ease into any type of market (rising, falling, flat). You don’t have to worry about trying to find the perfect time to invest. You can then review your plan regularly with your professional adviser and make adjustments when necessary, but staying focused on your plan will help you to not be distracted by short- term market uncertainty.
BE WARY OF THE CASH TRAP
Cash can seem appealing as a safe and secure option – but inflation is likely to eat away at your savings as we have started to see recently, with UK inflation rising to its highest level in over 30 years. For long-term plans cash needs to be supplemented with investment in other asset classes that can beat the perils of inflation and offer better capital growth potential.
BENEFIT FROM DIVERSIFICATION
When markets are fluctuating, it’s easy to worry about the performance of certain investments while forgetting about the bigger picture. But when one asset class is performing poorly, others may be flourishing. A diversified portfolio, including a range of different assets, can help to smooth out the ups and downs and avoid exposing your portfolio to undue risk.
START AS EARLY AS YOU CAN AFFORD
Starting early is one of the best ways to build wealth. As a general rule, the earlier in life you start investing, the better your chances of long-term growth. This is due to the power of compounding. Compound growth (the ability to grow an investment by reinvesting the earnings) is a powerful force but it takes time to deliver.
‘ACTIVITY BIAS’: THE URGE TO ‘JUST DO SOMETHING’
Some investors suffer from what behaviourists call ‘activity bias’: the urge to ‘just do something’ in a crisis – whether the action will be helpful or not. When investments are falling in value, it can be tempting to abandon your plans and sell them – but this can be damaging because you won’t be able to benefit from any recovery in prices.
Markets go through cycles, and it’s important to accept that there will be good and bad years. Short-term dips in the market tend to be smoothed out over the long term, increasing the potential for healthy returns.
LET US HELP
While the points above are good general tips, there’s no substitute for a strategy that’s tailored specifically for you. What’s more, in volatile times, professional financial advice can help you take the emotion out of investing and provide an objective view.
It is never too soon or too late to seek professional help. To discuss your plans or if you would like further information, please contact us for a free initial, and no obligation consultation and we for a will be in touch right away.