Most people already have an investment portfolio, which by definition is nothing more than a collection of assets purchased with the intention of making a profit, this is commonly referred to as your investment portfolio. However, many people struggle to answer a simple question – is your investment portfolio fit for purpose?
Whilst some give significant thought to individual investments and how each one complements their overall portfolio, many will have been encouraged to invest in certain funds and products promising high returns over the long term. What is often unclear, however, is that great returns do not typically happen without taking significant risk. Investing in such products and funds which may not be suited to your circumstances or take account of individual risk preferences, can result in disappointment due to unexpected losses.
It is a natural human reaction to respond cautiously when an unexpected loss has occurred. This may lead to an investment being cashed in at an inappropriate time and even more damaging, a loss of confidence leading to a reluctance to invest in the future. To this end it is not uncommon for investors to opt to remain heavily in cash to avoid a similar fate.
It may however come as a surprise that cash in itself is not risk free. Whilst the capital value may be secure, it is easy to overlook the true impact that inflation can have over time. This will be explained in more detail later, but the reality is that investing in cash may also lead to long-term financial disappointment.
Successful investing is best defined as ‘Understanding what your financial goals are and establishing an investment portfolio that will give you the best chance of achieving them, for the minimum level of risk that you are willing and able to accept’.
To make important investment decisions with any degree of comfort, a clear understanding of investment principles and the concept of risk and return is essential. Here, we aim to explain the principles of investing and key considerations for managing risk.
Why Should You Invest?
Seeking professional financial advice will assist you in reviewing your personal circumstances and help you identify your goals. Once you have a clear picture, this will help you formulate an investment time-line built around the following three categories;
Goals you have set to achieve within 12-24 months. For example, paying for a holiday or home renovations where you will require easy access to these funds.
Goals you wish to achieve within the next 2-5 years, for example, paying for a wedding or a new car.
Goals you wish to achieve within the next 5 to 10 years and beyond. For example, planning for your retirement to ensure you can maintain your required standard of living.
With a clear picture of what you are investing for, it is then a matter of understanding both:
- the financial assets you already have that can be employed to achieve your goals
- and the level of additional savings and/ or investment returns required to help you achieve them
In almost all instances, this creates a challenging dilemma:
How much financial risk are you ‘willing’ and ‘able’ to take in order to attain the appropriate level of return required to achieve each desired goal?
No two people are the same, so to help us assist you in building a portfolio that you are not only comfortable with, but which gives you the best chance of achieving your goals, it is essential that you have a clear understanding of the basic concepts of investment risk and return
If you’re interested in finding out more then please contact one of our team on 01522 569602 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The value of investments and any income from them may go down as well as up and you may get back less than the value of your investment.