If you are thinking about investing for the first time, it may seem a rather daunting step. You might not be sure what the difference is between a share, a bond and a fund, let alone which one could be right for you. And the way that some people talk about the financial markets can make them sound more like a casino than a place where you would want to put your life savings.

Yet for most of us, investing - as opposed to saving our cash in a bank - is a crucial part of our financial planning. It offers the chance of higher returns, giving us a better chance of building up wealth to fund our long- term goals.

There are certainly risks associated with investing, but those can be reduced if you invest in a certain way. 

Learning how to do this is the key to making the best of the opportunities available. 


Begin by making sure that your finances are on a stable footing, starting with a review of your current financial position. This should include looking at your existing income along with any regular expenses or outgoings, and debts which you might have. It doesn't usually make sense to invest if you have high-interest debts such as credit cards to pay off. That's because the interest rate you're paying may be higher than the returns you're likely to earn from investing. In other words, you may be better off putting any spare cash towards paying off your debts. 

Investments are a long-term decision, so you should also make sure you keep a separate emergency savings pot to draw on if you need cash urgently. 

How much you need depends on your circumstances, but as a general rule you should have at least enough savings to cover six months' worth of regular expenses.


The next step is to learn about the likely risks and returns of various types of investments. Doing this before investing any money in the markets is important, because many new investors begin with unrealistic expectations. This means that they may take on too much risk in chasing after high returns and end up losing money.

So you should begin by reading about the difference between major types of investments such as shares, bonds and property, and the kind of returns that they have delivered in the past and might be expected to deliver in the future.

Once you've got to grips with this, you can start thinking about what kind of investor you are and which investments might be most suitable for you. This means taking into account your financial and life circumstances (which will affect your ability to take risks) and your personality and attitudes (since this affects how willing you are to take risks).

You should aim to hold a range of investments that perform differently in different circumstances, since this will increase your chances of earning good returns whatever happens to the economy. This is known as diversification and it's one of the most important lessons to learn in investment.


Once you understand the principles of investment, it's time to think about the practicalities. For example, look into tax- efficient ways to invest, such as an offshore investment platform.

All this may sound like a lot to take in. As with everything in life, successful investing requires work to master the basics. We will help you to get started and we will explain how all these principles apply to you and help you create a diversified investment portfolio. 

We are able to assist you in every step of the financial planning process, starting with a personal financial review. This allows us to get a better understanding of your where you are today financially, where you want to be in the future, and what we need to do to get you there.


If you haven't spoken with us before or would like to just get a second opinion on your current investments contact us - - today for a free initial consultation and review.