There are lots of investments available and some will be a higher risk than others. You will find that it is not always easy to tell either, whether something is risky or not. There are some things that you can do though, which will help you to be able to make a judgement.
Ask a Financial Advisor
It can be wise to see help from a financial advisor. You will be able to let them know how much risk you are prepared to take and this will allow you to be able to choose from the options that they give you which are within that risk bracket. It is worth bearing in mind that there is an element of risk with every single investment that you take on and therefore you never completely guarantee that you will get the money that you have invested back. However, there are some investments that are far riskier than others and it will be possible for your financial advisor to be able to let you know the difference in risk and return and you will be able to decide what you are prepared to invest in. You will have to pay your financial advisor though and that cost may mean that you will not be able to invest as much money as you will be paying them some of it. However, it could be well worth it if they can find you a perfectly suitable investment.
Seek Advice from Others
If you would rather not pay for help or feel that you will not be able to afford it or do not want to pay then you could try asking people that you know. You may find that you have friends and family members that will be able to help you out and let you know what they think with regards to investing. Be wary of those that have not invested themselves as they may not know so much having not experienced it, but it could still be useful to find out their opinion and why.
If it Looks too Good it Probably is
It is wise to be aware of the fact that there are many people out there trying to get your money. They want to try to tempt you into ‘investing’ in schemes where they just end up stealing your money. They can advertise huge returns but you could find that you will pay in and not see anything back at all and you could lose every bit of money that you put in. This can happen with more mainstream investments too, for example, if you buy shares in a company which goes bankrupt. However, it is less likely compared to these scam type companies. So, make sure that you are completely confident that you will be able to trust that the investment will provide you with a genuine opportunity to make money. Consider whether it looks professional and find out lots about the company that is offering it. You will often find that there are websites which will have articles about scammers and so you could find that you will be able to identify whether what you have found is a genuine opportunity or not.
Look for Regulation
There are financial regulators and it is worth finding out more about them. They will be able to provide you with protection but only if you take out products provided by companies that are regulated by them. It is up to companies to get regulated and scammers will not and very high-risk investments, even if not scammers will tend not to. Therefore, this could help you to feel more confident in the investment opportunity that you have come across.
There are lots of people that will use the terms savings and investments interchangeably, but there are some really big differences between them. It is a good idea to make sure that you are aware of the differences as this could be vital when you are making decisions about what to do with your money.
When you use a savings account, then you will always get back the money that you have put in and hopefully a little extra as well. This will be an interest payment that the company you use will give you. When you take out an investment you are buying something with the money. This could be something like shares in a company, a home or some artwork. When you sell the item, you will get back the value of it, which could change over the time that you have held it for. This value could go up or down and this means that there is a risk that when you want to get your money back, you will get back less than you put in. You could get more, but it is very important to be aware of the risk. If you need the money, then it is best not to invest it as there is a chance that you may lose it. It is even possible for some investments to go down in value so much that they are worth nothing at all. Although this is rare, it is worth keeping that in mind and making sure that you properly assess the risk of what you are doing. You will find that the risk will differ, depending on what types of investments you make and you can spread the risk as well by changing what sorts of things you put your money in to.
The return on savings tends to be quite low. Interest rates are at an all-time low at the moment and this means that savers get very little back. There are ways of increasing the amount of interest you get though by selecting specific types of accounts. Accounts that have instant access tend to have a low interest rate, but ones where you have to give notice on withdrawals tend to be higher. You will also find that you will be able to get more interest on an account if you tie the money up for a few years using a bond. It is worth investigating the different options that you have available to you as it will enable you to decide whether you feel it is worth putting your money in a higher paying savings account. However, if you look into investments, you will find that the return can potentially be even higher. On average it is likely that many types of investment will give a much bigger return than savings accounts.
You will find that you will be advised to invest money for a significant period of time. It is often the case that you will find that it will be best to invest money for at least five years if not ten or a few decades. This is because investments tend to fluctuate in price and so they will go up and down. You will want to try to sell your investment when the price has gone up significantly and the best way to give the item the highest chance of going up in value is to keep the money invested for a significant period of time. With a savings account, you will normally find that you will get a fairly consistent amount of interest and it might be fixed for a few accounts but normally will just fluctuate a little but if the Bank of England change their base rate.
There are a lot of people who feel that budgeting will be too difficult. This is probably because of a few myths that there are surrounding budgeting and so these are going to be addressed so that you will hopefully no longer be put off using this method of money management.
I will Have to Give Up Everything I Love
It is easy to think that by putting together a budget it will mean that you will be forced to stop buying all the things that you really like. This is not true though as the idea of a budget is to manage your money and be in control but not to deprive yourself. Once you have allocated enough money to pay for your essentials then you will be able to use whatever is left as you wish. This means that you could use it to repay any same day loans you might have or to save, but you could also use all or some of it to buy yourself treats. The idea is that you do not overspend, which means that you may have to spend less on treats than normal but you may not need to go without. You may even be able to reduce how much you are paying for essential items, perhaps by using cheaper suppliers or retailers and this could provide you with money for spending on treats for yourself. If there is nothing left for treats, then you could try to find methods to earn more money so that you are able to buy more using that money. However, without budgeting, you would never know whether this is something that you will need to consider doing.
The Maths Will be Too Hard
It can be easy to think that you will not be able to work out the maths. However, it should be pretty simple. All you will need to do is to add up how much money you have coming in each month and how much you spend on essentials. If you struggle to do this, then you could ask someone to help you, perhaps a friend or family member or someone at your bank. Most people have a calculator, even if it is one on their phone and they will be able to use that to add up the amounts to make it easier.
I Won’t be Able to Stick to it
It can be a worry, that you will not feel motivated to stick to it. However, if you set a reasonable budget and make sure that there is some money available to spend on fun things, this should help. It can also be a good idea to keep in mind why you are budgeting and this should help to motivate you. Whether it is so you can feel more in control, to help you make sure you pay everything you need to on time, to save more money or repay a loan then you need to keep this in mind. It can even be wise to write the reason down and put it in a prominent place and then every time you see it make sure you read it as a reminder. Then you will always be able to remember that there is a good reason for doing this. You might even want to write a quote or phrase that will inspire you, so that you feel determined to keep going with it. You do not have to make it hard for yourself, you can take things slowly and make changes in small steps so you get more used to watching what you are spending and this will help the transition to be easier for you.
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