Striking the right balance is important to avoid losses
While diversification is important, you should keep in mind how much risk you are prepared to accept on your money. If it is important to you to avoid losses, you may want a portfolio that has less in shares and more in cash and fixed interest securities held to maturity, for example.
What you need to know to become a more confident investor
Before you choose or make any investment decisions, you need to know that investing involves the possibility of loss. These key considerations help you become more confident about your investment decisions.
Your decision can have a big impact on your returns
Should you invest all of your money in one go or drip feed it into the stock market over time? The answer will ultimately depend on whether you have a lump sum to invest or not, but it can have a big impact on your returns. Your decisions will invariably be based around your circumstances, attitude to risk and where you are investing your money and why.
Investing in one or more asset classes
Investing in funds provides a simple and effective method of diversification. Because your money is pooled together with that of other investors, each fund is large enough to diversify across hundreds and even thousands of individual companies and assets. A pooled (or collective) investment is a fund into which many people put their money, which is then invested in one or more asset classes by a fund manager.
Expanding and contracting in response to demand
Open-Ended Investment Companies (OEICs) are stock market–quoted collective investment schemes. Like investment trusts and unit trusts, they invest in a variety of assets to generate a return for investors. They share certain similarities with both investment trusts and unit trusts, but there are also key differences.
Participating in a wider range of investments
Unit trusts are collective investments that allow you to participate in a wider range of investments than can normally be achieved on your own with smaller sums of money. Pooling your money with others also reduces the risk.
Reflecting popularity in the market
An investment trust is a company with a set number of shares. Unlike an open-ended investment fund, an investment trust is closed ended. This means there are a set number of shares available, which will remain the same no matter how many investors there are. This can have an impact on the price of the shares and the level of risk of the investment trust. Open-ended investment funds create and cancel units depending on the number of investors.
Tax-efficient investment wrapper holding a range of investments
Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) have been around since 1999 and are tax-efficient investment wrappers in which you can hold a range of investments, including bonds, equities, property shares, multi-asset funds and even cash, giving you control over where your money is invested.
Safeguarding your money at a time of low interest rates
How do you generate a reliable income when interest rates are stuck at all-time lows and the Bank of England’s quantitative easing policy of ‘printing’ money is squeezing yields on government bonds (gilts) and other investments? Investors today can still rely on a well-balanced portfolio to meet their needs for income. However, they must be open-minded about the sources of that income and recognise that low-risk income generation is a thing of the past.
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