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If you're the kind of person who likes making your own way in the world, it's never been easier to start choosing your own investments. With a wealth of data, research and insights at your fingertips, ‘self-investing’ can be hugely satisfying. Plus, it helps to keep your costs low.
If you've got some spare money, you'd probably like to give it more oomph than it's getting in a savings account. And you probably already know that investing could be a great way to do that - provided you're prepared to do some research and accept there's a risk that you may get back less than you put in.
It's true, choosing your own investments does require a little effort. But what doesn't? If you take the plunge and the value of your investments start to rise, you may well wish you’d done it sooner.
Whether you want to invest in a way that takes up as little time as possible or you're interested enough to make it something of a hobby, you can find a way to self-invest that works for you.
Top 3 benefits of choosing your own investments
1. You can think big by starting small
Some people still believe you have to be rich to dabble in the stock market. But that's no longer true as it now takes very little to get started. This means you can start small and see how you go - adding more as your confidence builds.
2. You pay lower fees
When you choose your own investments, you don't pay any advice fees. This means you can put more of your money to work towards generating returns. Costs add up over time so keeping your costs low could make a difference to how your returns grow in the long run.
3. You get lots of info to help you make better-informed decisions
Thanks to the rise of self-investing platforms, you can access a world of funds and shares online. You can also access market data, stock insights and research tools to help you decide how to invest - putting you in full control.
Thinking about dipping your toe in the water? To be ready to invest, you need to be able to answer yes to these 2 questions:
Are you willing to accept a degree of risk?
Risk is essentially the price you pay for the potential for higher returns. Everything in life has a risk associated to it and investing is no different. The higher the potential rewards, the higher the risk of not getting back what you’ve put in.
If there's a secret to investing, it's getting to grips with the risks involved. That way, you can calculate how much risk you're prepared to take and choose investments accordingly.
Are you prepared to invest for 5 years or more?
You can invest for as little or as long as you like. However, most investments should be given time so they can ride out any lows in the market. This means you should be willing to leave your money untouched for 5 years or more.
That's why you need to think carefully about how much you can afford to invest. You also might consider keeping a rainy day fund of at least 3 months’ living costs to cover life's unexpected expenses.
If you answered 'yes' to both the above, you could be ready to take control of your future.
Want to know more? Read our guide to DIY investing.