If you are new to investing, getting professional advice is a great idea, and people who enjoy DIY might consider a number of avenues for accessing this, in addition to simply ringing a broker. Here are a few ideas about the sorts of places to look for it.
Money pages and financial press
You can read the papers either on your tablet or in print format to access the latest financial news. Financial journalists comprehensively cover everything from products and companies, to markets and the various types of investments available. Choose a couple of journalists whose style you like, and follow them to gain a better perspective on the market.
The World Wide Web
Free expert financial advice on investments of every shade and color is readily available on the web. There are many dedicated sites for investment novices, and fund comparison websites for the more sophisticated and experienced investor. You can also visit the websites of individual companies to access their annual reports and other types of information.
You might consider joining one of the many investment clubs, and become actively involved in investment pooling. Information and inspiration are available here that you can use to make more informed decisions, and members often research advice and trade tips and ideas.
An investment with a big payout will typically come with a big risk attached. If you are thinking of investing in structured products, for example, where returns depend on internal rules rather than growth of shares or assets, you need to know what you are doing because return calculations are complex. The same can be said for Venture Capital Trusts and Contracts for Difference, which is similar to spread betting.
Emulating role models
Look at the sorts of investments others have made, and get a feel for their mindset and what motivated them to invest in what they did. Build up a picture of the successful investor, how they think, the risks taken and the ones they avoid.
Fortress’ Wesley Edens, for example, graduated in business studies and went on to become a partner and MD of Lehman Brothers before co-founding Fortress Investment Group, which offers global asset management services.
If your savings goal is some years in the future, building up an interim investment portfolio is one way of making your money work better for you. Remember to spread the risk by diversifying your investments, and seek specialist advice for the higher risk options.