Your coffee break investment plan

Day 1: What is investing?
Many of us think of an ‘investment’ purchase such as a handbag. Or we think of our savings in the bank. Both of these are wrong. We explain the difference between investing and saving.

Day 2: What is the stock market?
We all probably have some exposure via our pension funds. What is it? Is it risky? Is it complicated? Why does it go up and down? What returns can I expect? Will I lose my money? Here are the key things that you need to know.

Day 3: Setting investment goals
You need a plan. What are you investing for? When will you need the money? How much will you need? Why does this matter? We explain why investment needs to relate to your lifestyle and life plan. We also explain why investors are usually best advised to invest a regular amount every month.

Day 4: The two enemies of investors: Inflation and tax
We explain the basics of inflation and why tax is such an issue for investors. Plus, how to beat tax by holding your investments in an Isa or pension.

Day 5: The importance of keeping charges low
We illustrate with examples the importance of keeping investment charges as low as possible. Plus, how to buy your investments cheaply.

Day 6: Having a range of eggs in your basket
Investors need to split their assets between different types of investments called equities, bonds, property, commodities and cash. This is called asset allocation and is related to your attitude to risk as some assets are riskier than others. We give an example of a diversified portfolio and how the asset allocation might change over your lifetime.

Day 7: Finding your way around funds
We explain the different types of investment funds: active and passive. Open-ended, closed-ended and exchange traded funds.

Day 8: Are you ready for company shares?
Many investors avoid funds altogether and start buying company shares straight away. This is fine too. We explain the key things to think about when building a portfolio of shares.

Day 9: Four simple ways to get started
Investing doesn’t have to be complicated. We give four examples of simple investments to start your portfolio, whether you’re going to be making regular savings or investing a lump sum.

Day 10: Tips from the world’s best investors
Some inspiration. The investment quotes that you really need to know and what they mean.