New to investing? 5 tips and tricks to get you started

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If you’re the sort of person who stays up at night worrying about the price of milk, or who would rather hide cash under the mattress than open an account, investing might not be for you. For the rest of us, though, the sensible, well-researched use of investing can be a way to maximise your money. If you are keen to make your money work harder and have long-term/short-term goals than need funding, it might be time to check out the IG glossary of trading terms and start making some well-informed decisions to grow your wealth.

Of course, if you’re new to world of investing it can all seem a little wild and confusing, but below are five essential tips and tricks to get you started.

  1. Do your research

While you might decide to contact a financial advisor or speak with numerous investment experts about what they think you should do with your money, ultimately it’s your decision. For this reason, it’s absolutely crucial to do your own research and ensure you know the difference between the many different kinds of investments from opening a savings account to buying stocks and shares. Whatever you do, don’t start investing without reading up on the jargon (much of which will sound complicated but is actually rather straight forward, see the glossary linked to above) and make sure you weigh up your options.

Moreover, before investing in any particular company, always do your homework so you know what you’re getting into.

  1. Think about your goals

When it comes to investing, thinking about your personal goals will help you to decide how risky you want to be with your hard-earned cash. If you have a little spare money and are willing to take a gamble in a bid to get high returns, you may decide to act on an exciting trade signal or market boom. If, however, you are looking to prepare for retirement, you might prefer to make a longer-term investment such as buying bonds or property that could bring high returns down the line. You may even decide not to put all your eggs in one basket, making numerous investments to avoid a complete gain or loss. Your investment plan should reflect your personal circumstances and outlook.

  1. Know your limits

Investing can be addictive, particularly if you get hooked on watching the fluctuating currency on the foreign exchange or are continuously being sent signals from brokers telling you now is the perfect time to act based on the current price of gold. That’s why it’s essential to have a budget. You must know exactly what you want to do with your money before you make a move and stick to the plan to avoid doing something you later regret.

  1. Keep an eye out for investment fees

If you’re an investment novice, choosing a fund manager may be the easiest option. After all they’ll help develop and manage a portfolio on your behalf and help guide you in the right direction with regards to making sensible financial decisions. That said, fund managers almost always charge more fees than an account you manage yourself and this will, of course, eat into any profits you may make. Similarly, if you’re buying individual entities such as stocks, you may be charged per order, so keep a look out for sneaky fees and try to keep your outgoings down.

  1. Consider exchange-traded funds

The markets change at such a rapid rate that, unless you have copious amounts of free time to analyse what’s happening in the business and financial world second by second, it’s probably best to consider exchange-traded funds (which follow a wide range of stock, or sometimes then entire market). As a rule, this type of investment tends to be less volatile than individual stocks as they tend to grow over the years and reduce the risk of you losing out should a singular company crash and burn.

Investing may seem like a brave new world if you’ve never done it before, but with plenty of research and guidance it can be productive – just take it slowly and don’t make any moves without having all the facts to hand.

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