5 Reasons Investing Isn’t As Spooky As You Think
Parting with your money – whether it’s for your long-term good or instant gratification – can make the sweat rise on your forehead. (If you’ve had the experience of buying your first home you’ll know that dreaded feeling of “buyer’s remorse”.) And when it comes to investing, there may be a number of issues that fuel your fear, preventing you from taking the leap and starting to build your wealth.
In the case of successful women, Forbes has coined the issue as “sit-it-out” syndrome. They choose to sit on their nest egg because investing makes them feel “insecure and overwhelmed”. For millennials, there is a perception that they need tons of money to invest. Whatever’s been holding you back, here are some reasons to conquer your fears:
#1 It’s easier than you think
How much? Where to put it? When to start? We’re all scared of the unknown, and a lack of knowledge can be a major roadblock. That’s where a financial adviser earns his or her fees, since these are all questions they can help you answer. They will recommend that your starting point should be a simple question: “What is the goal you’re investing for?” So when it comes to retirement, for example, you’d ask: “What do I want my retirement to look like?” Whether you want to retire in a cottage in Hermanus, travel the world or choose a sedate life living off the grid, your expert will help you determine how much you need to save, when and where, in order to achieve your goal(s).
#2 You can invest a small amount, and at a low risk
Got R500? That’s all you need to start your investment journey in unit trusts. The ball’s in your court on this one. If you’re nervous about a market crash eroding your savings, you can choose shorter-term, steadier options like bond or money market unit trusts to invest in. If you have a longer-term goal in mind, there are diversified portfolios that have a lower risk than equity-only funds. Earning a salary? By investing a portion of your income in a retirement annuity (RA), you also get the benefits of tax savings.
#3 It’s never too late to start
Just because you haven’t been investing, doesn’t mean you should stick your head in the sand. Any investment (of whatever amount, or in any life stage) can benefit from the effects of compound interest. You may need to consider higher-risk investments than you wouldn’t have chosen, had you started earlier, but this will go a long way to help you make up for those lost years.
#4 There are checks and balances with financial advisers so you can’t get ripped off
Trust is a tricky topic, and one that doesn’t go well when talking money. Fortunately, South Africa has some of the most progressive legislation in place to protect you from unscrupulous financial advisers. Firstly, they have to be a member of the Financial Services Board, which requires them to adhere to strict protocols when giving clients advice. In terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, they are obliged to give you details of what categories of business they are licensed to advise on, if they have insurance cover, what they will earn from you, and more, before you both agree to do business.
#5 Once you’ve invested, don’t be afraid to go along for the ride
So you’ve got a long-term plan, and portfolio, in place to meet your investment goals. Now stick to it, and ignore the short-term ups and downs of the financial markets, even if the news seems to be dominated by “doom and gloom”. Many investors make the mistake of panicking and selling out of their funds when prices are falling, which simply locks in losses. Then they also miss out on the upside when markets recover. This is a sure-fire way to fall short of your long-term goals. So be brave: history has shown that financial markets do deliver solid inflation-beating returns over time.
For more information about Prudential’s unit trusts, contact your Financial Adviser or our Client Services team on 0860 105 775 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.