Are you investing sensibly?

What constitutes sensible investing is different for everyone and depends substantially on your current financial situation, present circumstances, future goals and risk tolerance.   Having said that, there are universally applicable points to bear in mind.

The majority of people keep their savings in the same, low-interest rate bank account for years on end without looking for better returns elsewhere.  There’s a good reason for this – traditional savings accounts offer safety and security because they are very low risk.  Unfortunately, they also offer very low chances of earning any money.  In fact, the majority of savings accounts perform well below inflation, so in the long-term it’s likely your money will actually be worth less a decade after investment than it was when initially banked.

When considering where to invest your money, think about your goals and your needs.  Are you saving for something long-term – for example your pension – or something more short-term, such as a deposit for your child’s first home?  The length of time you’re willing to invest your money will affect how much risk is appropriate.  Short-term goals are often best kept low risk, i.e. held in traditional savings accounts.  Long-term goals on the other hand can tolerate higher risk levels, because most losses will be recouped over time and will generally be offset by gains.

However, many people are deterred from exploring alternative investment options because they fear they will lose their hard-earned money.  It’s a very real concern, as poor investment decisions can be very expensive.  There is a solution though.  To mitigate risk, it’s important to split your savings across different investment platforms.  Why?  Because different investment options have correspondingly different risk levels.  For example, investing in emerging markets is riskier than investing in UK and American markets, and investing in smaller or start-up companies is riskier than investing in more established, bigger firms.  The most sensible way to invest is to diversify your portfolio – by spreading your money across equities, commodities, bonds and other asset classes, you minimise risk and increase your chances of maintaining and building wealth in the long term.

Although the amount of risk you are willing to take is a matter of personal preference, a wealth planner such as Wells Gibson can help you understand all of the available options, so that your resulting portfolio reflects and aligns with your financial attitude.  Sometimes the potential returns on high risk products can be alluring, but unless you fully understand the dangers involved and are investing an amount you can afford to lose, then they are best avoided.   In particular, these kinds of investments shouldn’t be made without professional advice.  

Whilst diversifying your investments is the most sensible approach to long-term savings, it’s imperative that you don’t just place your money in these different pots then simply hope for the best.  Whilst the majority of investments manage themselves, it’s important to regularly reassess their risk levels – at least annually – and re-allocate your funds accordingly.   However, a watched pot doesn’t boil.  Checking your investments too frequently can lead to knee-jerk reactions – moving your money every time prices rise or fall in an unexpected way.   Remember that markets are always fluctuating, and the majority of long-term investments will cope with these fluctuations.

Even with this knowledge, it can be difficult to decide where to invest or what financial products to invest in.  Working with a wealth planner such as Wells Gibson can give you the confidence and reassurance you need to take the plunge.

Do you need help investing? You can contact us via email at integrity@wellsgibson.uk or by our online contact form on our website, which can be found here. If you would prefer to have a talk in person over video call, you can do so by scheduling an Exploration Call with us here.