What to Consider Before Investing

Investing is a risky business in which people should only enter into once they are fully prepared for each potential outcome. As such, there are several key factors to consider before taking on a serious financial investment, including thoroughly assessing your finances, paying off debt and protecting yourself from the unthinkable.

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Read more to understand each before deciding whether to part with your hard earned cash.

Examine your financial situation

Before making any investment decisions, it is advisable to take a candid look at your whole financial situation and decide whether now is the right time for you to invest. Carrying out a full examination of your ingoing and outgoing finances per month is a good place to state and will allow you to get a clear picture of what you’re at, whilst discovering areas in which savings could be made.

You can begin by listing all your income sources, such as salary, savings, benefits, pensions and any financial support you might receive regularly from family. Next up, work through your previous bank account statements and list all your regular expenditures, making sure to take note of any standing orders and direct debits that go out, particularly if they are old and you no longer use them.

Once you’ve done this, you can decide which outgoings are essential, and which you can make savings on by getting rid of or by switching suppliers. You’ll often be surprised at how much you spend on things you do not need or rarely make use of, and by ridding yourself of those added costs, you could be on the right path to investing.

Pay off major debts

Any financial adviser will warn against investing before your major debts are paid off, or at least under manageable control. This is crucial, because if you have a significant amount of outstanding debt they will likely outweigh any of the returns you can expect to gain from your investments. Paying off debts on personal loans and credit cards which have high interest rates is, therefore, a wise idea.

Protect yourself

Any smart investor will tell you to start a backup savings fund to protect yourself in the case of an unexpected turn of events, such as unemployment or falling ill. As a general rule, having between three to six months’ worth of income to fall back on via an emergency savings account is wise, and this should remain untouched and separate from your investment funds.

You should also think about getting yourself covered by life insurance or income replacement cover. If you are self-employed, you might want to consider income protection insurance.

Determine your risk tolerance

Investing in anything is always a risk and the old saying certainly rings true – you should only invest that which you can afford to lose. However, more risk often means better returns. That being said, not everyone can afford to take big risks with their capital, nor may they feel comfortable doing so. It is up to you to decide what your risk tolerance is and act accordingly.

Seek professional advice

For first-time investors, skilled advice from the beginning is a very smart move and may be more than enough to help you get the ball rolling. Financial advisers can help examine your situation and create a solid plan of action based on your goals. They will also help you understand the risks associated with any investment you might be considering.

Moreover, there are many enterprises out there which can help you decide where to invest and whether an investment is good enough, such as an investment fund research company.

Remember, investing is risky business and on many occasions, you may receive less than what you put in. If you are not sure whether to invest, seek expert advice!

Help Your Friends In Times Of Need

Friends are an important part of the structure of our lives. Some friends can even be closer to us than a lot of family members, especially if we connect with those friends on a level which cannot be replicated. Friends can help us out when we are in dire straits and need an extra helping hand, financially, socially and with personal issues. Friends are people we can reach out to when situations have occurred in our lives which we feel too embarrassed or awkward to speak about those situations with family.

We all know a friend who we can call and they will pick up immediately. We all know a friend who, even if we have not seen them for a while, can connect with immediately upon seeing them again. People like these enable us to live happier lives and also allow us to be the people who we want to be without trying too hard to be someone we are not. In short, friends are a great addition to have in our lives.

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So, when our friends are in troublesome situations of their own, we may feel more inclined to help them out if they have helped us when we were in need. Some friends may not ask you directly for help, but if you know a friend well and have a good relationship with them, they may not need to say anything and we will know something is wrong.

Helping a friend can include financial solutions, advice, guidance and the ability to be there when they need us. For example, if they are short of money for whatever reason and need to pay off a bill, you could lend them the money. If they have not got a great knowledge of cars, and you tend to know more about that subject than they do, speak to them about the best car finance deals that you know of. If they are going through family issues, provide them with an outlet to talk about the problem and be there for them if you sense they are feeling in need of some company.

Some friends can be people we have known for a long time – say, since school, college or university – while other friends can be people we have known for a short amount of time but connect with on a level which is reciprocated and appreciated.

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Allowing ourselves to branch out and meet new people is a great way of developing social relationships with people. If an acquaintance asks you to go for a coffee, a walk or even to a bar for a few drinks you may not feel that inclined to say yes but you should really take any opportunity to meet as many many, and new, people that you can. You never know, you may meet your new best friend after deciding to join them for a drink on a whim. Surrounding yourself with like minded people is a good way of developing your social circle and well being.

Teaching Your Children to Ask for Financial Help

Children are curious. They’ll stick anything tasty looking into their mouths, they’ll crawl and climb on furniture and they’ll ask questions about generally everything they are unsure about. Why is it then that we lose that sense of curiosity when we grow older? Why is it that as adults, we rarely ever look for help and instead, decide to take matters into our own hands by consulting Google?

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Don’t be ashamed to ask questions

When your children are growing up, they will undoubtedly ask you a myriad of questions. Why’s the sky blue? Why is water wet? Why am I growing taller? All of these questions relate to very fundamental understandings of how the world works. Children are so curious that they won’t even be ashamed to ask a question about grown up topics, such as “how was I born?” or “how do you make babies?”.

It’s only once we’ve become self-aware of our surroundings and how the world works that we understand what it means to be embarrassed or ashamed. You wouldn’t ask someone a basic question about your body because, as a grown-up person, you’re expected to know the answer. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ask just to confirm something.

Many people visit a doctor and ask them questions or seek medical advice that is trivial to a doctor. It’s not exactly common knowledge why different parts of your body ache, but you learn those naturally through experiencing those problems. Is your nose runny? Then chances are you have a cold. Are you also getting headaches? Then you might have flu symptoms. These are things we learn as we visit a doctor and ask them questions, so why do we not feel ashamed to ask these basic questions, but we hesitate to ask for financial help?

Getting financial help isn’t embarrassing—it’s normal

If you’re capable of asking your doctor about your body, then you’re capable of asking a financial advisor about your money. There’s no expectation of what you should and shouldn’t know. You go to a financial advisor and you can barrage them with questions no matter how basic or complicated they are because that’s what they are paid to do: advise you.

A Fee Only Planner could be the best option for someone who is concerned about their financial situation. Many other financial advisors will ask for compensation in other forms, such as selling you other financial products and services that may or may not be in your interest. As a result, a fee-only planner is the best option for someone who just wants to pay money for advice and avoid further complications.

Always ask questions

Just like your children, you need to be curious and ask questions whenever needed. Don’t keep yourself in the dark or look for solutions to your problem via Google. Hire professional help whenever possible and don’t forget that you are never alone when you are in a financial crisis or deep debt. Hire an advisor, ask questions, and don’t stop asking until you are satisfied that you understand the answer. Once your children grow older, remind them how they used to be curious and full of questions when they were younger, and they’ll quickly understand that there’s no shame in asking for help.

Amazing Sources You Can Turn To For Money Advice

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Not sure what you should do with your savings? Do you have money in an investment that is now starting to look very risky? It sounds like you could do with some money advice! No matter what type of question you have, there are plenty of sources you can turn to. Each one will be able to give you some solid financial advice. Not sure where to go for the best advice? Here are some of the best sources for financial advice.

Finance Blogs

Thanks to the Internet, it is now easier than ever to get advice about your money. One of the best places to start is by looking at financial blogs. Most finance blogs are written by people who have experience working in the financial sector. In fact, many bloggers are retired wealth managers. If you take a look through all the articles on the blog, you will find a great selection of articles on various financial topics. If you can’t find your answer in an article, don’t be afraid to send one of the bloggers a quick question. I’m sure that they will be more than happy to help you out!

Wealth Managers

If you have a lot of money to invest but aren’t too sure what to do with it, you should speak to a wealth manager, such as Ian Filippini. The wealth manager will be able to look at your current financial situation and figure out which are the best investment options for you. Not only that but once you have invested your cash, they will manage the investment for you. That means they will keep a close eye on it to make sure that your money continues to grow. If an investment looks like it is becoming a risk, your wealth manager will review other options where you could move your money to.

Charities

If you don’t have a whole lot of money to afford a wealth manager but still need some expert advice, you can always speak to a charity. There are a number of charities that have been set up to provide people with lower incomes financial advice. Most of these charities specialise in advice relating to getting out of debt and paying off loans and credit cards. If you give your local charity which offers financial advice a call, you will be able to set up an appointment to go in and speak to someone.

Financial Newspapers

It can also be worth picking up a daily financial newspapers, such as the Financial Times. These are full of local and national news stories, but they are also jam-packed with a lot of extra financial information that you won’t necessarily find in other everyday papers. The Financial Times also has a daily roundup of share and fund prices, so you can always quickly check to see how your investments are doing.

It is very important that you know where to go for professional financial advice. That way, you will be better equipped to manage your money and help it grow!