Successful Personal Investing
Safeguarding your "wealth" whilst making your money grow, during these difficult and uncertain times, has become more vital than ever before. You must look to yourself to change with the times and view yourself as an Investor. But how do you achieve this? In this article I categorise the investments that can be made to achieve this goal. In later articles I will expand on each of the categories. All articles have a UK bias.
How Changing Times Make Everyone An Investor
You should read this series of articles to learn about investing. But why should you have to "learn" about investing at all? The obvious reply is "to make more money!". There is a more persuasive reason though. It is that changing times make you an Investor whether you like it or not. For that reason this series of articles headed "Successful Personal Investing" is for EVERYONE.
Over the past 10 to 20 years it has become much more important to learn about investing and investments. Before this time life was much simpler. You could get by - and even prosper - just by understanding the basics. You had the money in your pocket, your bank or building society. Perhaps you had a few investments: National Savings Certificates, an endowment policy and maybe even a Unit Trust - such sophistication! Decisions were not complicated! Prudence was the name of the game. All you needed to do was to live within your means and to safeguard your savings.
But then, very quickly, a financial revolution took place.
The inflation of the 1970's and early 1980's eroded the wealth of many, especially those on fixed incomes from savings and pensions. Perversely and simultaneously fortunes were made by those fortunate enough to be in investments that benefited, such as property and precious metals.
A more profound change followed. The Financial Services industry was born. Money and all the places you could "invest" were opened up to aggressive advertising, marketed and sold as "packaged products".
Overnight even simple everyday decisions became bewildering. How does one choose between the confusing array of accounts offered by banks and building societies? And how can you be sure that your money is safe?
What about all the other "products"? Innumerable offers were available for Mortgages, Pension Plans, Unit Trusts, Business Enterprise Schemes and Personal Equity Plans (now Individual Savings Account's), not to mention schemes offering "products" for time-shares, tax planning, school fees, inheritance tax and offshore investment, accounts and insurance.
What about the Stock Markets? Was this a good place to invest? Well the booming Eighties turned into the Nervous Nineties and more recent downturns have shaken confidence. You may well wonder whether these events have altered the Stock Markets forever. Well the answer to that is that they have not.
Did program trading, insider trading, the collapse of banks or the buccaneering dealings of financiers stack the odds against individual investors? Well, no they did not. In fact they only led to much more stringent investor protection, although this is still far from perfect.
The move of the Russian (and Russian satellite countries) and Chinese (and other Asian countries) economies to market economies alongside the creation of the ever-expanding European Union held, and some say still hold, some uncertainties for Britain's economy and monetary system. It has an impact, not just on the British economy, but on the world economy.
What these events show is that the pace of change is always accelerating. The result is more risk for the unwary and uninformed but increased opportunity for the knowledgeable. The upside is that the Internet arrived and with it the opportunity for everybody to become knowledgeable. I say "opportunity" for you must take advantage of the information that is presented - that is if it has been made available!
How The New Knowledge Gives You The Ground Rules For Success
Today's rapid pace of change creates a new world of investing. The result: more choices and more chances for the informed investor to profit!
So, what is the key to success? It is knowledge that is the key to success! It is knowing how this new world really works and knowing the "tricks of the trade" that lead to success.
But where can you get this knowledge? You were not taught investing and money management at school, college or University. Newspapers and magazines give fragmentary advice and information. They don't give you the whole picture, starting with the basics and moving logically to the more advanced techniques. And how objective is that information when much of the income for these media is from advertising revenue generated from campaigns run by the Financial Institutions. The Internet is no better as most of the information about investment and business opportunities is created by those with a vested interest.
And this is where I tell you that in future articles I will be presenting opportunities in which I will have a vested interest. I will not be giving advice but I will be presenting information that will allow you to make an informed choice as to what you want to do. It will be up to you to decide whether you trust me enough to take advantage of those opportunities, but I promise you that I will tell you when I have an interest. You can be assured that much investigation has taken place before any opportunity is presented.
I hope, from the information contained in the articles I present, that you will be able to develop your own strategy for successful investing. Not all of the articles will be of value to you all. Some articles will have a resonance across the world of investing and others will be specific to a particular marketplace. Each, though, should have some relevance to all who take the time to read and digest the information. I hope that I will be able to present them in such a way that they do not go out of date quickly.