Follow the rules of investment or risk being 'badly burnt'
What's the issue?
With global interest rates at record lows, if you want to use your money to make money, you're going to need to invest. Leaving your cash in a savings account simply isn't going to cut it these days.
But what are the rules you should follow? And where should you be looking?
Moira O'Neill, head of personal finance at Interactive Investor, joins Stephen Cole to explain that, while there's no such thing as a risk-free investment, there are some procedures we should all follow.
Meet the expert
Moira O'Neill has spent more than 20 years as a financial journalist, including time as deputy editor at Money Observer, personal finance editor at Investors Chronicle and editor at Moneywise.
She's also a columnist at the Financial Times and has written two personal finance books: Finance at 40 and Saving and Investing for Your Children.
What does O'Neill say?
"There's no really safe thing you can do with your money", says O'Neill. "There's always a risk."
But there are ways of lowering those risks: "If you can put your money aside for five, preferably 10 years, and if you can spread your investments around among a lot of different types of assets or geographies or sectors, that will lower your risk.
"The key is to have your plan and stick to it."
O'Neill's message for investors is to understand that as our behaviors change, so too do the sectors likely to be ripe for investment. And never has that been truer than in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Examining our own lives can help point to the sectors likely to boom.
"We can all look around us and see how our behaviors have changed," she says. "We're all using Zoom or equivalents to communicate with family, friends, work colleagues. And we're all consuming more TV or Netflix-type packages and getting more deliveries to our homes."
But she says to beware of fad investment developments like the recent tale of GameStop and Reddit. "If you really think you can make a quick buck, you're going to be badly burnt at some point," she warns. "You need to have that solid plan and make sure you keep to a decent investing strategy."
Also on The Agenda with Stephen Cole:
Arturo Bris, professor of finance at Geneva's International Institute of Management Development discusses GameStop, Reddit and Robin Hood – and whether this year's David and Goliath battle between the little people and the hedge funds is likely to change the face of investment as we know it.
Of course bricks and mortar has always been something of a safe haven investment – but is that still the case in 2021? Uma Rajah, CEO and co-founder of property investment firm CapitalRise, gives an insider's view.
And finally – there are some perhaps more alternative investment opportunities out there. Dominic Brennan, director of Noble Rot Fine Wine explains why a good Bordeaux or a fine Burgundy are much more than just a tasty tipple.