Grow Your Money 101
What did you do with your first paycheck? Perhaps you saved all of it, or maybe you brought your parents out for a celebratory dinner. Once you’ve earned the money, you’ve got to make the money work for you! But as young adults taking our first steps into the big, confusing world out there, you’ve probably heard the word “investments” being bandied around, but the actual process of investing is a mystery.
Source “You mean I just give someone my money and then more money comes back to me?” - All of us
Before we start, what on earth is a unit trust?
There are many ways of investing your money, but you might want to try a unit trust. Each unit trust has a different objective. Some might focus on investing in equities, while others might want to invest in technology opportunities instead. If you think the unit trust’s focus matches yours, then you invest in them. Your money is then managed by professional fund managers such as Aberdeen, Blackrock, Fidelity or Schroders, amongst others.
1. You’re trusting professionals with your money
You might handle your investments just fine by yourself, but sometimes, it’s best to let the professionals do it. From research to risk evaluation to growth projection, investments take time, effort and expertise. Unit trusts are managed by professional fund managers and it’s their job to make sure your money is invested in the best way possible, through the use of analytical tools or their in-depth knowledge of the market.
2. You get more investment opportunities
Source You get opportunities!
Ever heard the saying “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”? Unit trusts involve a ton of investors pooling their money together, which allows the fund manager to choose from a wider range of investments. You and your measly personal savings may not be able to invest in bonds with a high minimum sum, but together with unit trust friends, you can.
Or how about investing on the global stage? Unit trusts can help you invest in foreign markets, which you may not be able to do by yourself.
3. Your investments are diversified
Source So that this won’t happen to you
It’s all about balance. The fund manager will typically invest in a range of assets, so that the risks are better spread out. So if one asset happens to do spectacularly badly, you might still end up preventing a loss. Other assets might do well enough to outweigh the losses.
4. BUT, you don’t get to control how your money is invested
Source You can’t control your money better than Daniel Radcliffe controls dogs?
Unit trusts aren’t all unicorns and rainbows. There have to be some trade-offs as well. Depending on unit trusts means giving up some of your autonomy over how your money is invested. You can’t order the fund manager to invest in specific bonds, stocks or shares. Based on the firm’s market knowledge, analysis and investment mandates, they’ll decide exactly what to invest in.
If you prefer doing everything yourself, then maybe unit trusts aren’t for you.
5. And of course, fees and charges apply
Source There’s bound to be some fees… even if there’s a big summer blowout
After all, it’s their job to be investment professionals. Just like paying for a haircut, fees and charges apply for the fund managers’ services.
6. There’s still some risk involved
Source Investing: probably less risky than climbing cliffs.
Yes sure, you’ve diversified your risk via unit trusts, but that doesn’t completely eliminate all risk. There’s a chance you’ll get a negative return, depending on the economy. But that’s something you’ll have to accept. With every investment, there is bound to be some degree of risk involved.
How can you get started?
The easiest way to get started is to get in touch with a licensed financial adviser and leave the grunt work to them. Depending on your financial goals and risk appetite, your financial adviser will recommend which funds are most suitable for you, and get you started on a platform like Navigator.
Navigator is a service that allows you and your financial adviser to manage your portfolio easily. Choose from a range of pricing structures, depending on what you’re comfortable with, and almost 500 funds across multiple asset class and countries from over 33 local and global fund managers.
The platform is also flexible enough that you can create segregated accounts to manage different pots of money, create joint accounts for your children or switch funds whenever you need to. Find out more about Navigator here!
Start Thinking, Start Planning
It’s time to look ahead to the future. Investments are long-term projects and whether you choose to invest your money with a unit trust or otherwise, it’s good to start planning now. Start thinking about what your life goals are and how you want to achieve them. And it’s okay to start small - try out different types of investments and discover which ones you’re most comfortable with.
And someday in the future, when your investments start paying off, all the effort you put in will be worth it!
A word of caution: Please seek advice from a financial adviser or consult a professional before making any major financial decisions.
This post was brought to you by Aviva.