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What we cover
Whether you're a long-term investor or you’re investing short-term, the range of investments can be confusing. This guide aims to explain many of the investment schemes that are available. Remember, you do not need to invest just in one investment. It is usually a good idea to spread your lump sum.
The main choices available to you include:
Just click on the links for further information. Alternatively, contact us for assistance.
If your money is likely to be needed in the short term, for instance within five years, the only investments that are likely to be suitable are bank and building society accounts and National Savings. These are relatively secure investments, and can be arranged so that your money is available at fairly short notice. Over a short timescale any other types of investment are likely to involve a significant risk that you may get back less than you invested when the time comes to withdraw.
For guidance on suitable investments, contact us.
When considering longer-term investment, firstly make sure that you keep enough money safe for any expenditure that you know is coming up, and keep a further amount safely invested in case of unexpected emergencies.
For the rest of your savings, you may wish to consider taking an element of investment risk if you think that you can invest it for five years or longer. The longer the timescale, the more likely it is that you will get bigger returns by taking some risk.
You can reduce risk by taking a number of sensible precautions. Firstly, although investment in shares, for example, brings potential for higher returns, individual company shares can be very volatile, and it is easy to lose your entire investment. If shares (sometimes called equities) are right for you, spreading your investment across a number of companies removes some of the extreme risk.
To reduce risk further it may be advisable to spread your investment across different business sectors, invest some internationally, and spread your investment across a number of investment types. This spreading is called diversification.
Diversifying your invested assets in this way can help to increase your chances of investment success over the longer term. The correct allocation of assets is a process that takes skill and needs extensive research capabilities. We are well-placed to assist you with suitable asset allocation. For further help, just contact us.
Many of the investments mentioned are available in different tax 'wrappers'. The underlying investment may be identical, but a ‘wrapper’ can significantly affect the amount that you get back from your investment.
Investments may be held ‘bare’ (on their own), within a life insurance bond, within a pension, or within a PEP or ISA. Each of these different 'wrappers' has different taxation implications.
For help in selecting suitable investments and making sure that the tax 'wrapper' is appropriate to you,