1. Know what are your financial goals are first.
Put simply, why are you investing? What do you hope to achieve and is there a particular date or time when you want to access your money?
For example, if you know you’ll need to access your money within the short term – say you’ll need it in 2 or 3 years’ time, then something like a fixed term deposit may be the best option.
However, if you’ve got a longer time-frame, or no specific time-frame in mind, then investing may be the best choice to get your money working harder for you. The longer you invest the better the returns tend to be.
2. Know what type of investor you are and the kind of investment you’re most comfortable with.
Low risk options tend to have limited potential returns, whereas taking some balanced and well-controlled risk could give you the opportunity to generate a better return over the longer term.
3. Know the range of returns you can expect to get
Investing is a great way to make your money work harder. However, all investments carry some element of risk. The good news is that there are many different types of investments – ones with lower risk and lower potential returns, right through to those with higher risk and higher potential returns.
Find out more on Irish Life MAPS and the range of returns to expect for different types of funds.
4. Don’t put all your investment eggs in one basket
When investing it’s also wise to consider your exposure to potential changes in the marketplace and what that might mean for your investment. This is why it can be a good idea to spread investments across many different assets, lowering your risk of exposure to market changes. This means you’re not overly reliant on the performance of any one asset.
5. Know who is taking care of your investment and what their track record is like
Regardless of who you choose to invest with, the top priority should be ensuring that your funds are managed by experienced Investment Managers with a proven track record. For example, with Irish Life MAPS, these funds are managed overall by our multi award-winning Investment Managers and part of the funds are invested by world class Investments Specialists chosen by us. We have more than 75 years expertise in helping people plan their finances and our Investment Managers now take care of over €60 billion of investments.