Article on Body + Soul
Want to make your money work harder for you? Here's where to start.
Investing may seem scary or overwhelming before you get into it. There is so much information and advice and new investment opportunities. In this article I am going to discuss three traditional methods that are great places to start. When you begin investing, I generally recommend you begin with more traditional methods and get a feel for who you are as an investor. You want your investing experience to be as stress free as possible.
Traditional investments are broadly divided into fixed interest, shares/stocks and real estate. Look at these investments and find which ones work for you. Ask yourself “What will be fun for me?” What you enjoy will always work out better for you.
#1 Fixed interestFixed interest is a more secure investment and the place that almost everybody begins. It requires little capital to get started and it is not difficult to set up. Fixed interest is possibly the safest investment there is, however it is important to remember that no investment is completely secure, as even banks have been known to fail.
The first step is to choose where you want to put your money. Have a look around and see which banks yield the highest interest rates. You may also wish to look for an alternative to the bank, such as finance companies or building societies. Look for investments which have compounding interest. This gives you interest on interest. Your aim is to get the highest interest rate for a time period which works for you. Another thing to think about is “Do you want your money to be easily accessible?” And “Do you want to invest for a short or long time frame?” Generally, the longer the term, the higher the interest rate will be.
#2 Trading shares/stocksShares and stocks are the same thing. When you buy a share or a stock, you are buying a share in the company, which means you are a partial owner. Shares can work for you in two ways, you can profit by a capital gain when you sell the share or by dividends during the life of the share. Not all shares pay dividends so decide whether you wish to have a regular income or wait for a capital gain when you sell. Share prices fluctuate - there is no guarantee of a capital gain.
There are different types of stocks. Many people start with “penny stocks” which you can buy with little money because they are start-up companies and it is usually a riskier investment. They trade at cents per share. Then there are "blue chip” shares that are considered to be profitable and successful companies. Look at both options and see which one will work for you. I recommend doing your research before investing in a company and shares.
#3 The property marketLike many investments, there are multiple ways to invest in real estate depending on how much capital you have and how much attention you are willing to spend on this investment. You can purchase a rental property outright or you can invest in a professional rental portfolio through a mutual fund.
When people look for property, they tend to look for what they themselves would live in. You will do well to remember you are not living there. I recommend looking outside of the major cities as they often sell at a lower price. You also may look at less popular sides of town. Also consider flats and units as well as houses.
Often people would like to invest in real estate but don’t have enough money to buy a rental property. My recommendation in this case would be to put money into a mutual fund, which is primarily made up of property investments.
With investing, it is important to never get complacent with your current level of knowledge and always be willing to learn more. If you are interested in increasing your wealth then there is always a way to make investing fun and enjoyable. You have to know how you function personally to create sustainable revenue streams. None of these investments are right or wrong and you must choose what works for you. When you enjoy investing, the money will show up. The more grateful you are for the money that comes to you, the more it will increase. Happy investing!