10 tips for women who want to invest
1 Consider an IFA
Particularly if you're thinking about investing as part of a life change such as retirement, it's worth finding a good independent financial adviser who will help you take a view of the big picture.
2 Master the jargon
Many people, especially women, are put off by investment-speak, but it's very easy to get information online about how investments work and what the terms mean.
3 Work out your goals
Think about what you want the money for and when you'll need it.
4 Assess the risks
"As women, we're more concerned than men about what could go wrong. It's OK to ask the adviser or salesperson what is the maximum amount you could lose, and what would happen if the provider or adviser went bust," says Sarah Pennells, founder of the financial website savvywoman.co.uk.
5 Invest regularly
Dripfeeding your money in each month means you avoid putting a lump sum in just before the market falls, and also invest when the market is low and investments are cheap.
6 Test the water
Invest a small amount, see how you feel after six months, and if you're having sleepless nights then stop.
7 Have a cooling-off period
After you’ve decided you're going to make an investment, give yourself a few days to think about it before you commit yourself.
8 Eggs and baskets
Diversify into different markets and types of investment to reduce overall risk.
9 One-stop shop funds
Growing numbers of 'multi-asset' and 'multi-manager' funds offer instant diversification. Some are very well run; others are not. It's important to understand exactly where your money is going and look closely at charges.
10 Leave it alone
If you're investing for the long term, once you have set up a balanced portfolio, don’t mess about with it beyond a regular (six-monthly or annual) review.
A financial adviser who is not tied to any financial services company (such as a bank or insurance company) and is authorised by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). They can advise on financial products to suit your circumstances. All IFAs have to give consumers the choice of paying by fees or commission and have to explain which would best suit the customer in that particular instance. Also, if commission is paid either by the client or the financial service provider recommended by the IFA, the IFA must disclose what that commission is.
The period of time you’re allowed, after signing an agreement, to cancel it without incurring a financial penalty. Financial products including banking, credit, insurance, personal pensions and investments are subject to a 14-day cooling-off period (this is 30 days in the case of life insurance and personal pensions). The insurer or broker must refund any money paid by you within 30 days, although it has the right to deduct a reasonable admin charge, and a sum proportionate to the number of days’ cover you had. If you have any related credit agreements, these will also be cancelled.