If you want financial security, you’ll need to save. Don't think of saving as an optional extra after other expenses have been covered. Building up savings should be high on your to-do list and included in your monthly budget.
The least risky of investment options are those offered by National Savings, which raises money on behalf of the Government.
While investment returns are not spectacular and some involve tying your money up for long periods of time they are nevertheless stable and in some cases can be paid tax free or paid without deduction of tax (although taxable), which is beneficial if you are a non taxpayer.
They include National Savings Bank accounts and various forms of savings and Income Bonds. These savings and investment products are backed by H.M. Treasury, which makes them the most secure cash products available in the india.
A with-profits policy is a type of investment fund.
Policies that are with-profits give the insured the extra benefit of a possible bonus that is a share of the profits from the funds that the premiums have been invested in.
How and where the premiums are to be invested is worth establishing if you are going to invest in a with-profits product, such as single premium insurance bonds for example. But as with all long-term investments in the stock market or in interest bearing instruments it is important to stay with them for the long term. That way they have time to build up and "smooth" the short term ups and downs in rates of return. The with-profits endowment policy is also a means of regular long-term saving and has the potential for a good return, but there is no guarantee of the final (maturity) value of the policy.
Some policies may also benefit from terminal bonuses if they are held for their full term. When choosing insurance products for investment it is important to be aware of what charges, fees or commissions may be attached to them and when profits and bonuses are added to the policies. Some, for example, will be heavily weighted with charges at the beginning of their policy life.
Collective investments are also known as unit trusts, investment trusts and OEICs. In all cases an individual is able to invest in a basket of shares of different companies, that way spreading his or her equity investment risk.
With a collective investment your money is pooled, along with that of other investors, to create a large capital sum. Professional fund managers then use this capital sum to build up a large actively managed portfolio of investments. This approach enables you, indirectly, to hold a wide range of stocks and shares in a way which would not be practical for an individual investor, whilst minimising the effects on your capital of fluctuations in individual share values.
Collectives can also invest in fixed interest instruments. These include UK government stock, also known as gilt edged stock or "gilts" for short. Corporate bonds are also fixed interest instruments and both represent direct borrowing on the part of the issuer of the bonds. They are referred to as "fixed interest" because their cost of borrowing is fixed, while the price of the bonds themselves may float up or down depending on supply and demand.
Traditionally, fixed interest investments have been regarded as a safe option. However it is important to remember that not only do they fluctuate in price, but also that the investor risks that the issuer may not be able to pay the interest (coupon) on the bonds, or the principal when the bonds mature.
Investment Trusts work similarly to Unit Trusts and OEICs in that they provide a means of pooling your money with other investors. They are however different in that they are publicly listed companies whose shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange and also in that they have a finite window of opportunity in which investors can subscribe rather than being open ended. The prices of shares in Investment Trusts will fluctuate according to investment demand and changes in the value of their underlying assets. They are therefore subject to the same types of risk associated with any product that invests money either directly or indirectly in the stock market but the level of risk depends on the trust’s strategy and the classes of assets held.
The Investment Trust Company may borrow to finance further investment (gearing). The use of gearing is likely to lead to increased volatility in the Net Asset Value (NAV), meaning that a relatively small movement, down or up, in the value of a company’s assets will result in a magnified movement, in the same direction, of that NAV.