Key things to know to invest wisely
With our busy lives, planning for the future can often take a back seat to the needs of the moment. This can be especially true when it comes to financial matters. Unexpected expenses always seem to crop up – a wedding, a broken phone or a new gas boiler for your home.
Every once in a while, it is important to stop, take stock and think about what you might want or need a few years down the road. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that there is a place your money can go, where the amount could be growing over time, enabling you to live the life you want in the future?
A fund to suit you
Many people leave money on deposit because it’s simply easier to do so than to make the decision to invest. But research tells us that two in three people don’t feel their money is working hard enough for them on deposit (Irish Life, 2016). If you want your money to work for you, you need to look at investment funds.
Multi-asset funds are a popular way to invest your money because, as the name suggests, it is spread across different assets. Spreading your money among lots of assets should mean a smoother return over the long-term - making sure, for example, that you’re not relying on one particular country, industry, or company.
The successful investor
There are some things you can do yourself to begin your investment journey - do some research, consider how much risk you are willing to take and what funds might suit you. After that, you should speak to a financial adviser.
A financial adviser will be able to tell you how much you can afford to invest based on your financial commitments and they will give you a recommendation for investing.
Getting expert advice is one of the key traits of successful investors. Another is knowing why you want to invest - what you’re hoping to achieve. Are you investing to have a particular amount of money in 15 years’ time? Are you investing simply to beat bank deposit rates? Are you saving for your kids’ college fund down the line or saving to have money in retirement?
If by the end of the investment term you have achieved what you set out to, that is the ultimate sign of a good investment.
Frequently asked questions
How will I know which investment will suit me?
Firstly you should consider the risk you are willing to take, otherwise known as your attitude to risk. You can take an investment profile test which will assess your attitude to risk. There are investments for all risk levels so knowing your attitude to risk is the first step in choosing an investment to suit you.
How long should I invest for?
You should invest for a five-year period, or longer. If you have something coming up next year - for example, if you need to buy a new car - then a deposit account might suit you better. Investments are not for short-term goals.
Do I have to commit to a specific term?
A lot of investment products are open-ended and allow access to your fund before five years. However, leaving it invested for a longer period has the potential to benefit you so much more, and also early withdrawal fees are less likely to apply.
How involved do I need to be after making the initial decision to invest?
You can be as involved or uninvolved as you want to be. There should be online tools available to you where you can check the value of your investment, as much as you want to. However, a yearly check-up at least is advisable. Talk to your financial adviser as often as you need to. They are there to guide you.