From ignoring stock tips you hear down the pub, to shutting out political noise, we draw on experts’ experience to provide invaluable pointers.
Among the experts featured are Peter Hargreaves,Â Â co-founder of Hargreaves Lansdown, Maike Currie, of Fidelity, Richard Buxton, veteran UK fund manager at Jupiter, bond manager Jim Leaviss, of M&G and Britain’s first Isa millionaire, Lord Lee.
Do your homework
Peter Hargreaves, co-founder Hargreaves Lansdown and Blue Whale Capital
Read as much financial comment as you can. A tip from someone down the pub is not a good way to find investment ideas.
Understand why you have chosen an investment and what makes it a good one. Beware ‘guaranteed’ returns.Â
Promises of returns over 3 per cent are probably questionable – anything over 5 per cent is very dodgy indeed.Â
Watch what your investments are doing and keep up with what is happening in the economy. Being engaged is the key.
Make a ‘hit list’
Maike Currie, director of Fidelity Workplace Investing
Start with five funds offering good exposure to regions and also different types of funds.Â
A global tracker or index fund offers geographical exposure at a competitive cost. A technology or U.S. fund taps into the rise of tech titans, while an emerging markets fund gives you access to the growth in emerging economies.
You might also want a little exposure to a healthcare or biotech fund to back efforts to prevent a repeat of Covid.Â
A small exposure to a gold fund is a good hedge against inflation and volatility.
It’s common sense
Lord Lee, the first Isa millionaire and author of Yummi Yoghurt: A First Taste Of Stock Market Investment
I’M a firm believer in choosing your investment and waiting patiently for it to grow. My best investments have been stocks in well-established companies with good cash reserves, low debt levels and which are run by people with a big stake in them. I look for those that have a history of growing dividends.
I buy and sell occasionally, but the stock market is not a casino. The key is sticking with solid, common sense decisions.
Trust in Britain
Richard Buxton, veteran UK fund manager at Jupiter
UK businesses, while unloved by investors now, have a lot to offer.
In a recession, the strong get stronger as rivals go to the wall, leaving them in a better position.
Take Whitbread, owner of Premier Inn, the budget hotel brand. It has been hit by the drop in tourism, but will come back.Â
The UK also has strong areas of growth, such as renewables. We have a big natural resource in offshore wind which is set to surge.Â
Firms such as Drax and SSE are in my holdings due to this. UK stocks are cheap, so this a good time to invest.
Use age as a guide
Jim Leaviss, manager of the M&G Macro Bond Fund
The rule of thumb is that the older you are, the more you should put into safer assets. Younger people can afford to take more risk and have more in equities relative to bonds.Â
So a 60 year old would have 60 per cent in bonds, 40 per cent in shares, and a 30 year old would have 30 per cent in bonds, 70 per cent in shares.
Jess Miller, head of proposition and product at Schroders Personal Wealth
Most people are already investors without realising it. That’s because they have investments via a workplace pension.Â
Through this investment you, and your employer, will be putting money each month into the stock market.
Take time to find out how much you have invested and crucially, where it is invested.
Suzanne Hutchins, fund manager at Newton Investment Management
When looking at your investments, accept there will be more surprises and uncertainty to come.
The speed with which policy makers have reacted should give reassurance, as long as the decision makers remain alert.
But don’t mix portfolio positioning and political events â€” there’s too much uncertainty over too short a time-horizon. In the context of a fast-changing world, have confidence in what is held in your portfolio. A long-term approach is necessary.
Keep it simple
Laith Khalaf, financial analyst at AJ Bell
Don’t try to run before you can walk. While you might hear stories of the dramatic profits people have made from buying bitcoin, or day trading, these are complex and risky and, chances are, they don’t crow too much about their losses.
Read up about the investments you’re interested in and never buy anything you don’t understand.