Investing in bonds, pooling your money with thousands of other small investors
Bonds are debt issued by either a government or a company and are an essential building block of many investors’ portfolios. When you buy a bond, you are effectively extending a loan to the issuer of the bond.
Unit trusts and open-ended investment companies (OEICs) are professionally managed collective investment funds. Managers pool money from many investors and buy shares, bonds, property or cash assets and other investments. An open-ended fund could be visualised as a big pool of money – the money belongs to thousands of small investors.
Invest as much of your annual ISA allowance as you like in either a Stocks & Shares ISA or a Cash ISA, or any mixture of the two
Some people never look beyond Cash Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs), but by using Stocks & Shares ISAs too, you could get a higher return on your investment. Stocks & Shares ISAs can contain shares, bonds and investment funds. There are no restrictions about where in the world you can invest: it does not have to be all in the UK.
Choosing a broad spread of instruments in which to invest
If you require your money to provide the potential for capital growth or income, or a combination of both, and provided you are willing to accept an element of risk, pooled investments allow you to invest in a large, professionally managed portfolio of assets with many other investors. As a result of this, the risk is reduced due to the wider spread of investments in the portfolio.
Every investor is unique, but everyone faces the same trade-off between risk and reward
The best place to start when you are looking to build a diverse investment portfolio is to ask yourself why you’re building a portfolio. For most of us, the central task is to build a pot of money that involves you, the investor, taking some risk over the long term, at the end of which you will have ideally built up a sizeable portfolio of diversified assets that will last you through to your retirement years.
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