This area of financial planning is often one about which people can feel nervous, but it need not be so . . .
For the inexperienced investor, it could be the first time they have had a significant sum of money.
Perhaps they have had an inheritance?
Maybe it is a lump sum from their pension, or possibly an insurance claim payout?
– It could even be a lottery win!
Even for the more experienced investor, it may be an anxious time when considering where to invest ‘new’ money.
This can be especially difficult when traditional markets are falling, and The News keeps them in the public eye.
Your wealth can be grown whether the markets are falling OR rising, but you need to know where to look.
There are three things you can invest for
Growth, income, or a combination of the two
Financial Consultants cannot claim to be experts on all Financial Markets (be wary of those who do). There are conflicting numbers about just how many investment funds there are in the international, or offshore, world. Let’s just say that there are many thousand. A good consultant’s job is to negotiate his or her way through this minefield, and find those ones which are right for you.
We do this by using some of the best expertise available in the Market Place itself. As well as having our Company’s central financial resources, our consultants are, individually, in regular touch with both Fund Distributors and Actual Fund Managers about their various funds, and their insights concerning the current financial world, in general. We also use financial search-engines and comparison tools which enable us to drill down to the facts and performance of the funds under consideration, and of course we are kept constantly up-to-date by our Professional Press Publications.
Our approach is to firstly explain a little bit about the investment world and how it works, without expecting you to become overnight experts. We feel it is important that you have at least some understanding about how savings and investments fit together, so that you feel comfortable with what we are doing. Where would you like your money sit on a risk / reward scale, and in which areas it might be appropriate for you yourself to invest your money.
Of course, we don’t leave you to make that decision alone – remember, we give a full advice and recommendation service.
First things first
Regardless of your experience of investments, one of the first things we will do is ask you to complete what we call a “risk-profiler”, to help determine your particular ‘attitude-to-risk’. Sometimes we send this to you before our appointment; sometimes we will be there with you -it depends on the time-frame and the circumstances. From this we will be able to get a feel for the kind of person you are when it comes to making investment decisions. (This isn’t set in stone, but helps us have a starting point for our discussions.)
assets vs. liabilities
One of the first things we would consider is your overall assets vs. liabilities position, and whether or not it would be prudent to clear off some or all of your liabilities. This is just one of the reasons that we ask you for a bigger financial picture than just your area of immediate concern / interest. Sometimes it makes good financial planning sense not to clear off liabilities, but other times we will recommend that you do this first –it just depends on your own particular circumstances at the time of our meeting.
Next, we would need to establish a time frame. One of the most important factors involved in successful investing is time. Can most (or some) of your capital be left for at least five years? If so, we have a time-frame with which we can work. Money which is required within a shorter time might need to be kept in ‘cash’ areas (by which we usually mean on deposit in a savings account of some sort).
(*This is excluding capital which is being used for a regular, deliberate income, such as with a pension, which we would invest in a different way.)
Products to suit your needs
If you’ve already started looking into the investment world yourself, you will realise that there is a bewildering array of choices in the market place, so we won’t attempt to go through them here. What we will do is tell you that there are certainly a set of investments out there which will suit your circumstances and your particular risk profile. Whether that is a collective investment like a Unit / Investment Trust, or an Insurance Bond; whether it be in direct share-holdings; whether it is actually tied up for a period or you can get your money out at any time; whether it is a product which guarantees your capital or one which allows you access to the full growth potential of the market; whether it is a combination of several of these, we are confident we will be able to find and recommend the product (or products) which most suits your needs. We will also be mindful of your tax position when we do this -not just now, but at the time you might need to use your money.
The value in dealing with us
Think of all the different market sectors there are (e.g. Banking & Finance, Manufacturing, Technology, Supply-chain, Agriculture, Leisure, Oil & Gas, Mining and other Natural Resources, Property -both Residential and Commercial, etc. etc.). Then think of the different geographical areas in which these sectors are based (e.g. the more established areas like USA, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, China, Japan, Australia, etc., then add in the emerging markets in South America, Africa, India, Russia, etc.)
There are literally thousands of companies who offer various types of investments to the market, by buying stocks and shares in the companies trading in the above sectors, in the above regions. These companies employ people whose full-time jobs are to constantly research the section of the market in which they sit. That’s all they do. All the time.
The value in dealing with us is that we can help you through this huge minefield of providers, giving you a virtual link with the people who are the experts in each of their fields, in each of their territories. We have the tools and the constant, regular contact with these people. We tap into the knowledge of the men and women who are making the world go round, and we benefit from this knowledge.
Our clients then benefit for our knowledge.