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Think about investing (as sprucing savings can only go so far)

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You’ve done the hard work and spruced up your family’s savings. Yay! But you might be looking at your other cash savings pots and thinking - how can you make this cash work harder for you and your family? Well, that's where investing comes in.

If you’re wondering when, how and what to invest in, you’re not alone. The ins and outs of investing can sound scary. Let's not even mention the mind-boggling jargon. It can really put many people off on where to begin. But don't worry, we're here to help you out. Yippie!

Let’s start with the easy one — when should I start investing? As soon as you can. It's never too early (or late) to start investing. The sooner, the better, as this gives time for your money to grow.

So that was the easy one, but what about the how? First, you’ll need to open an investment account. Like your bank account that holds your money, you need somewhere to hold your investments. Now there are a lot of companies out there offering a bunch of investment accounts, but as a general rule of thumb, if you’re over 18 — the ones you’ll come across will be a general investment account, aka ‘GIA’ or an ISA. If you want to invest for your kids, it will usually be through a Junior ISA, or ‘JISA’. Picking a provider that offers these is usually a good place to start before you can begin buying your investments.

What to pick! Well that’s the question on everyone’s lips. There’s shares (think traders shouting BUY and SELL), or bonds (giving your hard earned money to companies to pay you money back regularly for doing so), or funds (a pick’n’mix of shares, bonds and even property). Picking the right one for you depends on a bunch of reasons such as personal taste and how long you want to invest for. But if you’re a fan of not putting all your eggs in one basket, then funds are usually a great starting point. You might also hear people talk about ETFs. These are very similar to funds and are a very easy way to invest in 100s of companies at once.

And if you want to know a little more about shares, bonds, and funds, check out our blog on investing for beginners.

Sure, investing does carry more risk than just keeping cash, but if you’re in it for the long run, investments are much more likely to outperform cash savings. And usually in a big way!