Top five investing mistakes
1. PUTTING ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET
Investment experts agree that investing in just one company, asset class, product or region can be very dangerous. Put bluntly, you need to invest in a range of asset classes from equities to bonds and across different regions from the UK to Asia so if one investment goes bad you won't lose everything.
If you have a separate pension, remember to check what it's invested in so your new portfolio isn't too similar.
2. BACKING LAST YEAR'S WINNERS
The top-performing assets one year can continue to do well or they could just as easily tank the following year.
According to Tom Stevenson of Fidelity Worldwide Investment, asset classes bounce around from top to bottom in the performance tables every year."Unless investors think they can devote the time to study the markets in great detail, a multi-manager or multi-asset fund is often a wise choice."
3. LEAVING INVESTMENTS TO THE LAST MINUTE
If you're investing in an Isa, invest earlier rather than later in the tax year to give your money more time to grow in the market over the long run. This will also give you more time to think about what to invest in. "Avoid investing in haste. Don't invest in the first thing you're told about.
"There's nothing more annoying than putting your cash in, only to wish that you'd gone for something else just a little bit later," advises Andrew Merricks of Skerritts Wealth Management.
4. SWITCHING TOO OFTEN
According to Julian Chillingworth of Rathbones, switching too often becomes a tax on investments due to the costs of buying and selling. "You should invest for the long term; at least five years if you're investing in equities. Avoid high turnover - if you deal too much, turnover is a tax on investments."
5. BEING SWAYED BY ADVERTISING
Investment firms have big budgets and love to advertise their latest funds everywhere. Martin Bamford, managing director of financial planner Informed Choice, says one of the biggest mistakes he sees beginner investors make is buying fad investment funds and getting "suckered into investing in a brand new investment fund just because a lot of money has been spent on advertising".
He also warns against relying on ‘star fund managers' who rarely live up to their title and can easily resign or retire.
Invidivual Savings Accounts were introduced on 6 April 1999 to replace personal equity plans (PEPs) and tax-exempt special savings accounts (TESSAs) with one plan that covered both stockmarket and savings products, the returns from which are tax-exempt. The ISA is not in itself an investment product. Rather, it’s a tax-free “wrapper” in which you place investments and savings up to a specified annual allowance where the returns (capital growth, dividends, interest) are tax-exempt (you don’t have to declare ISAs and their contents on your tax return). However, any dividends are taxed within the investment, and that can’t be reclaimed.
An interchangeable term for shares (UK) or stocks (US). Holders of equity shares in a company are entitled to the earnings and assets of a company after all the prior charges and demands on the company’s capital (chiefly its debts and liabilities) have been settled. To have equity in any asset is to own a piece of it, so holders of shares in a company effectively own a piece proportionate to the number of shares they hold. (See also Shares).