Having a goal and putting a personal finance plan into place is a good idea. But with so many savings and investments products to choose from, it’s sometimes tricky to know which one’s the right one for you. That’s where an independent financial adviser (IFA) can really help.
For example, did you know there’s a difference between saving money and investing it? Saving money means putting it away in relative safety. Usually, you’ll get some interest on top, and can access your money whenever you want it. But making an investment means taking more risks with your cash, in the hope that it’ll go up in value over a period of time faster than savings would. It’s important to know from the outset that an investment’s value can go down as well as up. You might not get back the money you put in and, in most cases, if you’re investing your money, then you need to think about tying it up for a minimum of five years.
When planning your savings and investments, it’s important to consider what level of risk you would be happy with. Low risk investments often mean that there is a low chance of you losing your initial investment, but the return is often quite low. High risk investments, as you may have guessed, are the opposite to this. There is a higher risk of losing your money but the payoff is the potential higher return. Your outlook on risk can be influenced by factors such as your age (eg are you close to retirement?), your financial goals, your financial commitments and how much money you have. Your overall investment strategy could be made up of a number of separate investments at different levels of risk, with the overall outcome of spreading your risk whilst aiming for the growth or income you require – effectively not putting all your eggs all in one basket.
You may be thinking about starting a savings or investment plan, or have a plan already in place. But just think wouldn’t it be good to save more money and avoid paying unnecessary tax? Or find out if the risks you’re taking with your investments have changed? How about getting an income from your cash, as well as see it grow in value? There’s a lot to think about. That’s why it’s a great idea to get savings advice and investment advice from an IFA.