6 Busted Myths About Investing
“Learn as if you were to live forever.”
Most of us are not investing money today and are keeping our savings in cash, idling away in current accounts not doing very much for anyone. I keep on reading that women make better investors but still aren’t investing enough. So why is that?
We want to demystify investing for you to give you the confidence to learn more and get started with your own investments. We’ll start by unpicking these common myths that may be holding you back:
1. Investing = Gambling
The only thing investing and gambling have in common really, is that both can be fun! Beyond that, the similarities are deceptive. In the casino, the odds are always heavily stacked against you. A good investment will never start you off on the wrong foot in this way, and you can make just as much profit long term from low-risk investments as more flighty ones. Also, gambling is disempowering, addictive and generally bad for the individual and their family. It’s secretive, expensive and can never do any social good. But investing can become part of your wider social consciousness when you choose, maybe in tandem with your partner or family group, which start-ups or inspiring businesses you might want to lend a hand to. If you’re an eco-warrior or a human rights activist, there’s an investment package out there to help you put your money where your mouth is!
2. There are secret tips out there I don’t know
Nope! Well.. maybe just one. But it’s readily available to anyone who wants to know, and chances are if you’ve been reading Vestpod for a while you’ll have chanced upon it already. It’s simply that you should own shares in a wide cross-section of businesses (or funds: ETFs) that are likely to do well. Over time, you are less likely to lose out. If it works for Warren Buffet it should work for us! Apart from that basic ground rule, there are no secrets that others know and are making them rich. Educating yourself should be your top priority. Slow and steady wins the race!
3. I need more money to invest
Even £50 a month can be enough to start seeing returns. Some ISAs even start at £25! As long as you follow the golden Vestpoders’ rule of not investing more than you can afford – because what’s the point getting in to debt to fund your investment habit? Now that sounds like gambling – you can make even the smallest sums work harder.
There are lots of investing platforms for individual investors. You can check Hargreaves Lansdown, AJ Bell or Fidelity for DIY investing - they also offer basic portfolios. If you want access to low-costs funds, why not taking a look at Vanguard or BlackRock? Finally, your other option is using a robo-advisor.
4. I need someone to invest my money for me
There’s so much information available online now that advice on how, when and what ETFs, stocks and shares to buy is just a click away. Websites like Citywire and the endearingly named Motley Fool, let alone your own high street bank, will save you trawling through the Companies and Markets section of the pink paper with a highlighter, and can hold your hand through any transactions you might want to make. Of course, you might want to seek a session with a financial advisor if you don’t feel confident enough to get started, but once you get going you may not need to be paying someone to make your daily investment decisions. All you have to do is set up a trading account and make sure it’s solvent enough to start buying from the stock exchange!
5. It is expensive to invest money
It doesn’t have to be! Pooling your resources with other investors in a fund spreads the running costs, and remembering that thinking mid to long term is always going to be less risky (ie. expensive) than trying to get your money back quickly. Most advisors suggest saying goodbye to your money for 5 years before asking to see it again in its new increased form.
Remember: Invest only what you can afford to lose. Past performance is not an indicator of future returns! We are not certified financial advisers! This article and information made available on Vestpod are provided for information and educational purposes only and do not constitute financial advice. You are advised to consult with an independent financial advisor for advice on your specific circumstances.
Photo by Ella Jardim on Unsplash.