10 tips for women who want to invest

9 July 2012

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.

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