Today the investor has a bewildering range of investment options and savings vehicles to choose from. When interest rates are lower than inflation, those investors who only stick to the safety of bank and building society deposit accounts may not be making the most out of their money. Most people want investments which are safe, in the sense that they cannot fall, whilst offering high returns. This of course is an ideal combination, but is simply not available. However, with the right expert financial advice you can make sure you choose the investment or savings product that is most suitable for you.
Investments & portfolio planning
Investment portfolios form a critical part of many of our clients' personal financial plans. We will guide you through the many options available when building an investment portfolio, taking into account tax opportunities and implications, your tolerance to risk, and balancing the need for income, growth or both.
Following a detailed financial review we will assess all the factors with you before making recommendations for your asset portfolio, our ongoing service will monitor investment performance and keep you informed and updated with regular review meetings.
We recognise the individuality of our clients and that each has different financial needs and objectives based on where they are in life. When advising on any investment we ensure our clients understand the risks involved and are willing to accept those risks.
When people generally talk about risk they actually mean 'volatility' - the more adventurous an investment the more ups and downs it is likely to experience. What many people fail to grasp is that whilst the value of real assets can fluctuate over the short term, over a longer period such as five years or more, investments have generally seen greater returns than traditional deposit based investments.
Stock markets and investment funds have become more volatile in recent years. This makes it important to select the right product and minimise your risk. That's why it has never been more important to get professional investment advice from a qualified and regulated independent financial adviser. As your adviser we can present all of your options clearly and help with the balance between risk and reward. We can advise on everything from lump sum & inheritance investments, to retirement & pension fund investments. In short, we will help you determine an investment strategy appropriate for your needs and tax position.
As independent financial advisers we are not tied to any bank or investment provider, which allows us to choose the most suitable investment from the whole of the market.
The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount you orginally invested.
Savings accounts like Cash ISAs or a building society account are for times when you may need to get at your money quickly in the shorter term. They're different from investments, which are really for the longer term. Readily accessible short-term saving can be made in the form of high-street bank and building society accounts, National Savings accounts and Cash ISAs. Putting a little money away regularly is the best way of saving up for expensive things, such as holidays, furniture or a forthcoming family special occasion.
Our savings advice is more specialised. We usually advise on plans which are designed to help you prepare for more specific future financial requirements, such as your children's future education, their future wedding expenses or a deposit on a first home.
For new investors, regular saving can also be a deceptively easy way to build up a lump sum. Putting aside a couple of hundred pounds a month can be achieved with a minimum of sacrifice and will quickly grow as the months pass by, without you even noticing what is going on. It can therefore be a convenient way to dip your toes into equities, with a stocks & shares ISA.
Each type of investment has its own level of risk, but basically you take a risk with your money by investing in assets that could rise or fall in value. With such investments, there is never a guarantee you will make money or even that you will get back the same amount you invested in the first place. It is only the potential that over a longer period such as five years or more, equities have generally seen greater returns than traditional deposit based investments.
However, before starting any longer term savings plan, it's a good idea to have sorted out any debts, made sure you've looked at protecting yourself against unforeseen events such as sickness or accident, which may keep you off work, built up some savings for emergencies and considered your pension arrangements.