Investing: Expert explains the ‘one golden rule’
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Clare Francis, director of savings and investments at Barclays, said: “Over the longer term, stock markets tend to perform better than cash.”
Average returns from investing in the UK stock market have outpaced almost any other investment over the last century at over five percent a year, a Credit Suisse report showed earlier this year.
Ms Francis added that “while you won’t lose money by leaving everything in a savings account, with interest rates where they are, your spending power could fall because of the impact of inflation.
“Investing some of your money gives you the chance to get it working harder for you.
“If you’re unsure where to start, many banks or and investment platforms offer ‘ready-made funds’ that are based on the level of risk you are comfortable with and which they’ll manage on your behalf.”
This can be a great way for people who don’t know much about stocks to get into investing.
Ms Francis added: “If you do decide to invest, make sure you keep some money in cash for your short-term needs – investing should really only be considered for money that you can put away for at least five years”.
This is because stock markets can fluctuate, which can be damaging in the short-term if markets take a plunge just as someone wants to withdraw their funds.
But with a long-term approach, people will be able to ride these waves and hopefully come out way ahead.
Despite there being ways to achieve financial freedom, more than three out of every five Britons say they lack a sense of financial freedom in their lives.
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Most people don’t think they’ll be financially free for at least another 12 years.
When people think of themselves being financially free, nearly half imagine being debt-free, 43 percent think of paying off their mortgage and four in ten simply being able to cover unforeseen costs.
This means that for the majority of people, these are not the case in their lives.
A quarter of adults worry they aren’t saving enough monthly to meet their targets and many say they would need to earn just shy of £60,000 a year to not have to worry about money.
With the UK’s median salary currently around £31,500, just over half of this amount, not having to worry about money is a far cry
But around two-thirds of people see financial freedom as being about the feeling of being in control of finances on a day-to-day basis, rather than just hitting financial targets.
Ms Francis finished: “If you’re saving for any longer term goals – be it your retirement, your children’s education or your future financial freedom – then it’s well worth considering investing.”
When asked what would help them feel financially free, those aged 45-54 mostly said stopping full time work and being on track for early retirement.
Whilst those aged 25-34 cited having disposable income at the end of the month, paying off all bills in full each month and being able to treat themselves without worrying about their balance.
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