Why invest at all?

noun: The action or process of investing money for profit

There are always those who are careful with money, and those who are not.  Those who save for a rainy day, and those who prefer to live life in the moment.  If you’re the latter, you can easily become the former and settle any niggling guilt surrounding your future finances.

There are always going to be things pulling at the purse strings; rising household bills, the ever-increasing cost of living or student debt, to name a few. With all these outgoing costs, yes, the odds do appear stacked against people who want to try and put aside a few pennies every month.  Maybe these perceived odds are dampening the hope that these pennies will eventually result in a mortgage free home, settling into a comfortable retirement, or even just retiring at all.

However, there are many investment opportunities out there that don’t need to leave a hole in day-to-day spending and could simultaneously pave the way towards those stress-free retirement dreams, and they are so easy to organise.

If you’ve got any money in a cash saving account, whether it’s a small amount or a sizeable sum, you’ll want to see your money grow over the long term and investing is a much simpler process than many believe.

The common route for most investors is choosing between the four main types of investment known as “asset classes”.  These are:

Regular asset classes include:

  • Shares – you buy a stake in a company
  • Cash – the savings you put in a bank or building society account
  • Property – you invest in a physical building
  • Fixed interest securities (bonds) – loan your money to a company or government

Some alternatives to these regular asset classes include:

  • Foreign currency
  • Collectibles i.e art and antiques
  • Commodities like oil, coffee and gold
  • Contracts for difference. This means, betting on shares going up or down

If an investor owned various assets, their collection would be called a portfolio. By spreading any money between different types of assets, the risk of a portfolio under-performing is significantly lowered.

The safest of these – cash – is perhaps the one that’s struggling the most in the market, and after a decade of low interest rates on cash savings, it could feel like investors are being cornered into riskier markets in pursuit for returns.

However, accounts such as a General Investment Account (GIA) from i-stock present a flexible way to save and build any investments. There is no restriction on the regularity of payments, no fees and no major losses.

A GIA with i-stock offers the use of an app where you can easily track your account, giving you the possibility of investing at any time, 24/7.

Whether you’re in the middle of a “you only live once” moment or mid house-hold budget review, opportunities are available to squirrel away anything from £50 a month and begin to settle any doubt that you may be secure in your future.

the game changer