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A Beginners Guide To Investing

A Beginners Guide To Investing

Investing can be a perfect opportunity if your savings goals are for a few years into the future. Investing your money means that you could get more from your current savings and meet your money goals quicker.

We’ve put together a beginners guide to investing to help teach you the basics of investing. Investing is always going to be met with a clash between risk and reward, and we’re here to ensure you are making educated, informed decisions. 

The thought of investing can often be one that leaves you scratching your head. Once you learn the basics of investing you’ll understand that it’s not the minefield that it’s built up to be. So if you’re interested in learning more about investments, explore our beginners guide to investing. 

What Is Investing? 

There are many different types of investments (or assets), all that comes with different amounts of risk and reward, however, investments can be broken down into one overarching description. Investing is the act of setting an amount of money aside to work in your favour and receive a profitable return.

When you’re buying into investments the number one thing that you need to remember is there are no guarantees. The idea of investing is buying into something that is believed to have increased value over time, however, rates can often peak and trough. This means that you can either walk away with more or less than you returned.

Investments come in various forms, but there are four types that are deemed as the main types – while everything else is seen as alternative forms of investment.

  • Stocks – They are the most well-known and often the simplest form of investing. When buying a ‘stock’ you are buying a share in a publicly-traded company.
  • Bonds – This is essentially a loan to an entity (business or government). After the bond has been held for a period of time, the bond will ‘mature’ and you will receive your investment back and a determined rate of interest. Bonds are often the lowest risk form of investment.
  •  Cash – Often referred to as an ‘ISA’ are generally one of the safest types of investment. This is the act of investing by putting money in a savings account. While the interest rate is small compared to the other options, the interest generated isn’t subjected to tax.
  • Property – This is a lucrative way to make money through the act of owning property. You receive a return on your investment through regular payments, profit from the future resale or both.

Other Investment Options

The options for investing are the opposite of slim. So, if none of the above-mentioned investment methods caught your eye here is some of the less generic means.

  • Online coin currencies and cryptocurrency
  • Foreign currencies
  • Gold
  • Collectables
  • Car leasing
  • Exchange-traded funds 
  • Retirement plans

Spreading your money across different investment methods can work to lower the risk of your overall investment. 

Why Should I Invest?

As a general rule of thumb, you should only invest if you are committed and won’t touch your money during the investment period. If you’re able to commit the time, resources and money that is needed then you’re able to reap the benefits of everything investing has to offer.

There are numerous reasons why investing is key to a healthy, happy and affluent future. 

Inflation

While the change is so minuscule you man not notice, the rate of inflation actually means that if you’re not investing you’re losing money. That may seem a slightly odd concept, but with the rate of inflation rising at an average of 3% per annum, your money and the power it has is worth less.

If you can secure interest on your investments surpassing 3% you can then not only keep up with inflation but pass it and start seeing more value from your investments.

Make Money

This may seem obvious, but it needs to be said. With the rate of inflation rising year on year, the money you’re earning is depreciating in value. So if you’re serious about building your wealth noticeably then it’s important to plan ahead.

By investing you’re focusing on the long-term. If you have goals which you’d like to achieve in regards to money, investing is a good means of getting you there. 

Retirement

If your goal is to retire early (which most only dream of), with smart and informed investment decisions this could become a reality.

You need a rather considerable amount of money to retire as we’re sure you know, as you don’t want to just retire but retire comfortably. To do this you’d need to make sure the interest you are earning on your investments, is earning interest of its own – this is called compound interest. 

Compound interest is what happens when you invest successfully and is a great way of increasing your money largely over time.

Provide Regular Income

While this is loosely the same as the previous point, rather than retiring early proper investments can see to you having either additional regular income or income that is able to support you individually.

There are numerous investment options available that provide regular income such as property, equity and bonds. The one that most people are unaware of is investing in car leasing, this can be a heavily lucrative investment option that is reliable and low risk.

Ethical Investing

Investing may not seem overall particularly ethical, or at least not in the way you’re thinking. There are types of investments called (ESG) investing that focuses on the environmentally, social and governance aspects of said investments. 

These types of investments exclude types of industries that are harmful to the planet and society, such as deforestation, gambling and unfair trade practices.

Socially responsible lending can help you make your money work for you while knowing that you’re supporting an ethical cause.

What Returns Can I Expect?

When investing, returns can go up and down depending on lots of different influencing factors. Returns are the money that is made on top of the money you invested, so the profit. 

As mentioned above there are numerous types of investment options and these all produce different returns. 

  • Interest – From cash saving accounts ‘ISA’ or bonds etc. This is usually at a fixed rate, sometimes reliant on ongoing conditions being met e.g. a minimum of £250 is paid into the account each month.
  • Monthly Income – This can be in the form of rent from properties, it can be anything that provides a regular income. This is usually from owning something that is rented out to others such as properties, car leases, equipment etc.
  • Capital Gain – When working with stocks your investment can appreciate or depreciate in value dependant on how the company is currently performing. If you sell the stock for more than you paid for it this is known as ‘capital gain’ whereas if the opposite is true this is known as ‘capital loss’.

What Risks Are There With Investing?

Nobody wants to gamble with their money. They just don’t. So we understand it can be quite concerning to hear that nothing is guaranteed with investing. Unfortunately, there is no reward with risk – and the same applies to investing.

Obviously there are some investment options that are higher risk and some that are lower risk. It’s up to you and the type of investor you are to decide whether high risk and the possibility of high reward is for you. 

With areas such as the property market, prices can fluctuate constantly and this can lead to either a loss or gain for your returns. The same can be said for stocks also, however, these are much more likely to grow in value over long periods of time. 

While cash investments such as ISAs may seem risk-free there is an element of risk involved. Cash investments are also subjected to loss, this is because the rate at which interest is collated isn’t significant enough to overcome inflation. However, these methods are associated with much less risk, due to being able to withdraw your money as and when needed.

Fortunately, there are ways to lower the risk of your overall investments through ‘diversifying’. This is the act of spreading your investments over different types of assets to protect your overall investment.

Can I Access My Money If I Need To?

The majority of investment options are set up with the end goal in mind. While some investment opportunities may let you take your investment back before the duration of the investment period, we would advise against this. 

One of the key takeaways we’d like you to think about from our beginner’s guide to investing is to only invest if you can 100% commit to it. Most investments are in control of your investment for at least 2-3 years, this is what is required to see a decent return.

This is why we would heavily advise that you have 6-8 months at least of savings to support your household. This protects you and your investment should you encounter any unforeseen large expenditures, or should you, unfortunately, lose your job. Making investments is a huge commitment, so certain precautions such as having savings is a must-have for investing.

Here at Buy 2 Let Cars, our investment opportunities are met with a certain amount of risk. This is, of course, met with reward for outgoing such a venture. Investing with us means that you will not have access to your money for the duration (three years), however, you will be receiving reliable monthly payments and fixed interest.

When Is The Best Time To Start Investing?

Of course, external factors such as the current economical climate are going to affect your investment decisions, but the more personal factors lay with you. Unlike other ventures there is no ‘right time’ to start investing, you don’t need to wait till the stars align. 

However, it’s important to assess whether you think you’re ready. So we’ve compiled a few questions to help you decide if its maybe time to start investing.

Are you fully informed of the risks and decisions that may come into play?

It’s important that you’re all in when it comes to investing, unfortunately you can’t dip your toe in. But you can choose low-risk investments to help you get started and gain more insight into how investing works.

2) Do you have any short-term overarching debts?

If you have any outstanding debt at all, whether loans, credit card bills, it’s best to settle this before investing. Paying off your debt ensures that you are in the best position to withstand personal emergencies and recessions – because you won’t have your investment money.

3) Do you have savings?

Similar to the above point, it’s important that you have a minimum of 6-8 months income saved to protect you in case the worst comes to worst. Whether something needs fixing, you lose your job, or any other unforeseen circumstance this will cover you for long enough to get you back on your feet. 

Investment Advice

We understand that after reading our beginners guide to investing you’re not suddenly going to become an investment guru. We’re here to best educate you on the risks and rewards of investing, and help you on the road to making your first investment. 

If you’re considering either dabbling in the world of investing or just looking for investment advice out of curiosity – keep our investment tips in the back of your mind:

  • Consider how long you can afford to invest for. Ideally, you need to be prepared to not touch your investment for at least 5 years.
  • Review your goals, consider why you’re investing. Having an ideal takeaway from investing can help you focus your efforts better and keep you motivated for the end goal.
  • Make sure you have enough savings (6-8 plus months of income) this will ensure your investment is protected and you are covered should you run into any unforeseen large expenditures.
  • Think small and work your way up. Starting on the smaller side minimises risk and helps you gain more of an understanding of what goes into investing.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Investing is a big decision and shouldn’t be one that’s taken lightly, speak to whoever you need to get advice. You may wish to speak to an Independent Financial Advisor prior to making any decisions.

Considering Investing? 

After reading our beginners guide to investing, if you’re interested in exploring alternative ideas of investments we’re here to help. We provide investment opportunities through car leasing, in which you receive monthly repayments and interest that averages at 9%.

If you’d like to learn more about how it works or calculate your possible return on investment please follow the links provided. 

Please note that nothing on this website, including the information about risks below, constitutes financial advice. You may wish to seek your own advice from an Independent Financial Adviser before you invest.

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