Despite showing some signs of improvement in late 2016, savings rates are still extremely low. Despite this, millions of UK taxpayers are putting their hard-earned cash into long-term savings accounts. For many, it may be the security that attracts them. Other may see the interest they earn as a win, regardless of how small it is.
The problem is, any interest you do earn on long-term savings will get completed shadowed by inflation. According to BlackRock, if inflation continues at the 2017 average of 2.4%, UK savers will be a total of £880 million out of pocket.
We’re sure you’ll agree, losing money year-on-year just seems wrong. Fortunately, there is an answer – investing.
The word investing often carries a negative connotation. Many relate it to risk and uncertainly- something which us Brits are not all that comfortable with! But this simply isn’t the case. You don’t need to be the Wolf of Wall Street to make your savings go a little further.
We’ve compiled some easy investment options regardless of your savings pot.
£50 a month or less
A lot of people think that investing is something that is reserved for only the high-earners with substantial amounts of savings. Again, this isn’t true. Investing is worthwhile even for those with £50 a month or less to play with.
The best type of investment for you will be dependent on several factors including why you’re investing, how long you’re investing for, and how much risk you’re willing to take.
The chances are if you’re making monthly deposits, you’ve got a goal in mind. You may be saving for a car, a mortgage deposit or an emergency fund. Based on the amount of cash you need for that goal, you can then make an accurate guess as to how long you will need to be saving for.
If you’re looking to invest for 5+ years then the stock-market is generally a good place to start. Longer-term stock market investing is generally better than short-term as you’re less affected by the daily ups and downs that will inevitably happen along the way.
If you’re looking for a more cautious investment than going all-in on the stock market, then opting for a Cautious Managed fund is a good option. This allows you to spread your risks by investing in other assets such as gold, forex and government bonds alongside stocks.
£250 a month
Having more money to invest gives you the luxury of spreading your cash over multiple markets. This is an advantage because it’s rare that all asset types move in the same direction at the same time.
If you’re a little unsure of what to invest in or are nervous about taking risks then investing in a more defensive UK equity income fund could be a good option. In this sector, the managers tend to invest for both value and growth and typically return a consistent yield of around 4% or more.
Commercial property funds are also an interesting investment for those with around £250 a month. There are typically two different types of funds; those that buy physical property and those that buy property company shares. Both can be very lucrative, but due to their nature they can also be quite volatile.
A lump-sum of £10,000+
Perhaps you’ve already been saving for some time, but are no longer content with the rates you’re getting in your long-term saver.
Once again, the best option for you will be dependent on the several factors. Such as how much risk you’re willing to take, how long are you planning on investing for and your investment goals.
If you’re someone who’s looking for a more hands-off approach to your investments then a global equity fund is a great option. These funds allow you to spread your portfolio over several global markets.
For someone who is willing to take a risk, then an emerging market funds is an attractive option. This allows you to invest in companies that are based in or exposed to emerging market economies. The risks are high due to the uncertainty of the company’s longevity, but the potential rewards are also very high.
For many of you reading this, the thought of investing your hard-earned cash is daunting. Hopefully this article has gone some way to changing your views by giving you some basic knowledge on the options available to you.
Investing is becoming more and more popular as savings rates continue to decay. Don’t let your savings stagnate – take action today.