Starting to invest
When it comes to buying and selling investments, you have a number of choices.
This is the most hands-on approach, where you select and manage all of your own investments yourself. Many people do this through online platforms (a.k.a. “brokerages”) that give you access to a range of different investments, without advice. If you’re feeling confident in your knowledge of the stock markets, you might jump in here.
If you’ve got pretty large nest egg to begin with, you might go to an independent financial advisor (IFA) or a wealth manager. They’ll take your personal circumstances – risk tolerance, investment goals, and time horizons – into account and recommend some suitable investments. You won’t do any of the buying or selling yourself.
Online investment management
If you don’t quite have enough cash to warrant hiring a wealth manager, but also lack the time to make all your own investing decisions, you might choose to have your portfolio managed online – where investment experts (or computer algorithms, in the case of “robo-advisors”) build a strategy and manage your money based on your financial goals.
You don’t have to pick sides. Instead, you can mix and match – keeping some cash in a bank, some in passive investments, and actively managing the rest. Lots of investors make a few direct investments while also keeping a managed portfolio. For more information on investment strategies, check out our detailed guides on what to look out for and how to get involved.