Read time: 3 mins Investing 101

7 not-so-stupid questions about investing

  • Investing should be open to all, and we believe everyone should be able to do it with confidence
  • But we understand that the investment world can be intimidating
  • So, we’re answering some questions that you might be afraid to ask

For a long time, it may have seemed that investing was only easily accessible to wealthier people with more disposable cash than the average household.

It’s still estimated that only around 20 per cent of UK households invest in shares 1 , but at evestor, we want to make investing accessible and affordable, giving everyone the power to make the most of their money. We recognise that committing your cash to something new requires confidence, so we’ve gone back to basics to answer some of the not-so-stupid questions that first-time investors might be embarrassed to ask.

1. How much money should I invest?

How much money you decide to invest depends on what your investment goals are and what your current financial situation is. With some online investment platforms such as ours, you can invest anything from £1 so there really is no amount too small.

When you join evestor, our dedicated financial advisers are on hand to help you make the right choices on your investment journey.

We can advise you on how to best manage and grow your money to achieve your goals, and we won’t recommend investing unless it’s right for your current circumstances.

Person thinking

2. How long should I invest for?

There’s no right or wrong answer here, but broadly speaking, investing your money should be a medium to long term commitment. We recommend that you invest for at least 5 years without dipping into or withdrawing your funds. Any shorter than that, and you may be better off leaving your funds in cash savings where they will be easily accessible and won’t be subject to short term market fluctuations. Don’t worry though, if something unexpected happens and you need access to your funds, here at evestor we don’t have a minimum term, so you’re never locked-in.

Of course, the longer you can invest for the better. Your funds will have more potential to grow, benefit from the magic of compound interest and will have a better chance at riding out any market fluctuations that might occur.

3. What am I investing in?

At evestor, we invest your cash into funds (if you’re not sure what a fund is, or find financial terminology generally confusing, take a look at our handy jargon buster).These funds own shares in various companies across the globe. They spread your investment across a large number of businesses to reduce the risk to you - think of the phrase ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’.

If those companies grow and become more valuable, so does your investment. When you exit your investment, the shares maycan be sold for more than you originally paid for them and you would make a profit.

We work with three of the five biggest asset management companies in the world: Vanguard, Fidelity and Blackrock. -they manage assets worth nearly £8 trillion!

To give you peace of mind evestor is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme which may provides protection to consumers up to a certain limit.

4. How much profit will I make?

That is impossible to tell.

No one can predict how the stock market will perform in the future, but we know that you can maximise your profits by minimising the cost of investing.

trees growing on coins

5. Why do I pay fees?

All investments come with costs. They are usually in the form of annual fees, calculated as a percentage of the total amount you have invested.

Some investments are far more expensive than others,, and can include management charges, administration charges, platform fees, entry and exit fees, and advice fees. These charges can really stack up.

evestor has no up-front costs, so you keep more of the money you invest from day one. Furthermore, our charges are capped at no more than 0.5% a year, whereas a traditional financial adviser might charge more like 2.5% 2 . This means, if you had £10,000 to invest, after 10 years you would have saved almost £2,000 in fees with evestor, when compared to a traditional adviser.

6. Can I lose money?

With any investment, although you may stand to make a healthy return, there’s always the chance that you may get back less than you put in.

For example, if you had £1,000 in 1997, you could have put it in a bank savings account, where it would have earned interest every year. By now it would be worth £2,088. Not a bad return at all. 3

However, if you had invested that £1,000 in shares on the UK stock market, and reinvested your profits every year, after 20 years it would return over twice as much - £3,172! 4

7. Should I get financial advice before investing?

Decisions about your long-term financial future are important, so it’s a good idea to get advice.

When you join evestor, we’ll ask you questions about your financial situation, your attitude to risk and investment experience to help us work out the best financial plan to achieve your investment goals.

We offer restricted advice, so depending on your answers, we might suggest you open a pension, put money in an investment fund or we might advise you not to invest, and to pay off any debts first.

You can then book an appointment with one of our financial advisers to talk through our personalised advice and answer any questions you might have - at no added cost.