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Investing is a great way to potentially grow your money. Whether you’re looking to pay off your mortgage quicker, boost your retirement fund or provide financial security for your child’s future, investing could help you get there quicker.
But before you part with your cash, you need to be prepared for a long-term commitment. If you can’t lock away your money for at least five years, investing may not be the right choice for you.
It's also important to remember that any investment comes with risk. All investments can go down as well as up, and you may get back less than you invest.
If you're unsure about your investment options, we'd always advise talking to a Specialist Financial Adviser from Wesleyan Financial Services. Book an appointment for a no-obligation consultation.
Even if you’re new to investing, you’re probably aware of the ups and downs of the stock market. Where there’s potential to gain, there’s the potential to lose.
While a high-risk investment may result in higher returns, if you’re prone to feeling anxious or would want to withdraw your investment after a loss, it might be best to choose a lower-risk investment option.
There's no one-size-fits-all approach to investing, so don’t feel disheartened if your approach is different to someone else’s. Always adjust your goals and investment levels to something you feel comfortable with.
It can be tempting to invest in a company based on a trusted recommendation. But there’s more to know before you invest, like the financial history and health of the company.
It's always wiser to split your investments across companies and other assets to diversify your risk. That way, you can expect a similar level of return while balancing your risk. One way to do this is to invest in funds, which allow you to invest in a range of different investments, often spread across multiple asset classes.
Be cautious of unsolicited calls and search results on the internet. Where money is involved, people will go to great lengths to take it from you.
Be wary of ‘guaranteed’ high returns. If you’re unsure whether an investment opportunity is legitimate, seek advice from a trusted financial adviser.
You can invest in different 'asset classes', just an investment fund does. Each asset class has different risk and return characteristics.
As a rule, the level of risk matches the potential reward, meaning high-risk asset classes hold the potential for a greater return but also the greatest loss. From top to bottom, the asset classes generally offering the greatest risk and potential reward are:
Cash, as an asset class, comes in a variety of forms. It includes money deposited by banks or held by other financial companies, as well as holding short-term government or corporate debt.
A bond is essentially an IOU from a company (a corporate bond) or government (a government bond). They seek to raise money with a promise to pay it back later. A bond issued by the UK government is called a Gilt.
There are two common types of bonds: ‘fixed-interest’ and ‘index-linked’:
Typically, you can invest in two types of property: ‘residential’ and ‘commercial’.
While it is possible to invest directly in commercial property, it's very expensive and most investments are therefore made through funds. Examples of commercial property include office blocks, retail units, factories and warehouses.
You can buy company shares to get part-ownership of a company. If the company is successful, and the value of its shares rise, your investments will grow in value. Share prices can rise or fall depending on the economy and the stock markets. You can get some income (known as dividend income) from your company shares. It’s normally paid twice yearly and is simply a share in the company’s profits.
Commodities are goods such as oil, coffee, gold and silver. Commodity investments can be extremely profitable, but they also involve a high risk of loss. This is because investors aim to make money by predicting future changes in supply and demand.
You don’t have to spend years studying the stock market to become a smart investor. Here are some tips for helping you stay on top of your investment journey.
Predicting how your investments will perform isn’t always easy. Keep a level head through the ebb and flow of investing. Focus on the long-term view instead of any short-term day-to-day movements.
It’s hard to tell when stock markets are at the right level to buy or sell. You may be tempted to withdraw your money when panicked. Staying invested can be better for your long term returns as it gives your money more time to grow and recover from any short-term dips.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of waiting for the right moment to invest, but you may end up missing out on gains, and having the value of your cash eroded by inflation.
In the world of investing, cashing in your investments is known as ‘being out of the market’. Remember we said earlier that investing is a long-term commitment? When you’re out of the market, you can potentially miss out on the best days for investment gains and performance.
Making a single, large investment can sometimes be risky, as it could fall in value at an unfortunate point in time. Making regular payments into your investments over a long period of time could be a smart way to reduce this potential risk.
Rises and falls in the stock market have less of an impact for regular investors than lump sum investors. And for savers prepared to wait for prices to rise, pound cost averaging presents an opportunity to buy units more cheaply as markets fall.
Pound cost averaging is a technique where you make investments on a regular basis. This reduces your exposure to falling markets from investing a lump sum. Investing at regular intervals means more shares are purchased when prices are low and fewer are purchased when prices are high.
The sooner you start investing, the quicker you’re likely reach your investment goals. You can calculate the value of investing sooner yourself, with our cost of delay calculator. Start sooner rather than later to benefit from investment returns and the opportunity to reinvest income.
Choose an investor you can trust. As a mutual, we have no shareholders and are owned by our members. We put your best interests at the heart of all we do, ahead of the need to maximise short-term profit.
Wesleyan is a long-term investor. Our core strategy is ‘buy and hold’, so our portfolio turnover is generally lower than the industry average. We also identify out-of-favour stocks and shares with the long-term potential to grow in value.
This means on days when markets are down, we’re more likely to be buying shares rather than selling them.
We offer a range of funds, professionally managed by our in-house, award-winning Fund Managers. As our funds have a range of risk ratings, there's something to suit your capacity for risk.
When you invest with Wesleyan, you're getting service from a team that won Responsible Investor of the Year at the Insurance Asset Risk Awards 2022.