How to invest money

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Investing a lump sum

Many people get a lump sum at some point in life – perhaps you’ve inherited a windfall, sold your home or have a tax-free sum from your pension. So how can you put it to good use?

Where to buy investments

There are number of ways you can buy investments. Read on for an overview of your main options. Before making any investment decisions, you need to be sure that the products you plan to buy match your goals, timeframes and appetite for risk.

Compensation if you’ve lost money through mis-selling

If your adviser has gone bust and you’ve lost money because of their negligence, you might be able to get something back through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Check your rights for mis-sold mortgages, pensions, insurance and other investments and find out when and how to make a claim.

What to do when things go wrong – payments

The right way to handle a problem with payments or transfers depends on how the payment is made. This guide covers the full range of payment methods, with advice on how to handle problems that arise and what you can do to prevent problems in the first place.

A beginner’s guide to scams

Scams are getting more and more sophisticated, particularly when it comes to targeting you online and through mobile devices. In this guide we take a look at how you can recognise a scam, protect yourself and what to do if you’re a victim or have been targeted.

High-risk investment products

If you want an investment that can give you a big payout, it usually comes with a big risk. This guide covers the main types of high-risk investment. They’re not illegal, or scams – you could win big. But if you invest, you have to accept that you might end up with nothing or even owing money.

Investing in property

Property investment – alongside cash, bonds and shares – is one of the four most common types of investments. Investing in property takes many forms, from buy-to-let to property fund investment. Here you can discover everything you need to know about how to invest in property, the different forms this could take and the risks involved.

Review your savings and investments

Each year, check how your savings and investments are growing and decide if you need to make changes. Depending on your investments, you may need to review your savings more than once a year. Follow our key steps to make this happen and set up email alerts to make sure it becomes a habit.

Understanding investment fees

Most saving and investing routes have some fees and charges associated with them, but this article focuses on investment products. While some fees are made clear up front, be alert to the fact that others might be hidden.

Complete a money fact find

To make a good saving and investing plan, you need to take stock of where you stand financially. Assess your goals and what the future might hold, and consider your experience and attitudes. Then identify what money is available. A fact find is the process by which you gather that information so that you are ready to make your plan.

Diversifying – the smart way to save and invest

Diversification – spreading your money between different kinds of investments (called ‘asset classes’) and different kinds of investment product – helps reduce the risk of your overall investments (referred to as your ‘portfolio’) under-performing or losing money. This guide will show you how it’s done.

What are pooled investment funds?

Pooled investment funds – also known as collective investment schemes – are a way of putting sums of money from many people into a large fund spread across many investments and managed by professionals. Investing this way can be easier and less risky than buying shares in individual companies direct, and there are lots of funds to choose from. Find out how investment funds work, the risks, and how to invest.

Know your risk appetite

What risk should you take with your money? Work through our three steps to understand your risk appetite – it will help you choose the best homes for your money.

Asset classes explained

When you choose investments, you can’t know how well they will perform. The return you get will depend on a variety of factors, such as the impact of charges, the particular shares or other investments selected, how stock markets in general move, and the asset allocation you choose.

Getting more informed about investing

Getting professional financial advice is great, but if you’re a DIY type, you’ll be happy to know that keeping up with saving and investing news is easy and – dare we say it? – fun. For a few ideas on where to look for sound investment news and information, read on.

Do you need a financial adviser?

If you’re looking to invest, buy a financial product or plan for the longer term, whether or not you need financial advice will depend on a number of factors such as what product you are looking for, how complicated your finances and personal circumstances are and your short and long-term goals.

What happens when your with-profits fund closes

If you get a letter saying your with-profits fund is closing, don’t panic – it just means new people can’t buy in. Your investment should stay mostly as it is, but there are some things you should know about owning a with-profits policy in a closed fund.

Endowment policies

An endowment policy is an investment product that you buy from a life assurance company. They are set up as regular savings plans and at the end of a set period pay out a lump sum. The policy includes life assurance, so it will also pay out if you die during the term.

Financial mis-selling – what to do if you're affected

If your bank or another financial company sold you a product that wasn’t suitable for you, you might get compensation if you make a complaint. If you are unhappy with your firm’s response, the Financial Ombudsman Service or Pensions Ombudsman might accept and investigate your complaint for free.

Key information and cooling off periods

Thinking about investing? There are some big decisions to make – but, as a consumer, you have rights. A company selling you ISAs, investment funds, life and pension policies and other investment and savings products must provide you with a keyfacts or a key investor information document, and a chance to change your mind.

How to spot an investment scam

Every year thousands of people lose millions of pounds due to investment scams. The internet and advances in digital communications mean these kinds of scams are becoming more common and harder to identify. Thankfully there are some warning signs, which you can use to avoid falling victim to scammers. Read on to discover how to spot, avoid and report an investment scam.

Ethical saving and investing

When you put money in a savings account, the bank or building society can lend your deposits to firms to support and grow their businesses. If you invest in shares, fixed-interest or investment funds, you are even more directly investing in businesses. Ethical saving and investing lets you be selective about which firms you help.

Find an adviser

If you decide you want financial advice, you can begin your search for the most appropriate regulated financial adviser for you by simply entering your postcode below:
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