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Investing for beginners

moneysavingexpert.com

Investment explained

An investment is a gamble: instead of the security of guaranteed returns, you're taking a risk with your money. 

You can invest in Shares, Bonds, Funds, Government bonds (gilts), UK property market or even Farmland, Vintage cars, Wine, Fledgling technology, firms or art.

For mo...

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How stock markets work

  • A stock market is simply a place where buyers and sellers meet to sell shares.
  • A share is a divided-up unit of the value of a company.
  • Shares exist to boost profits of firms to turn a business into a financial success.
  • Enter a stock market:...

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  • The price is initially set by the firm offering shares.
  • Its price on any given day can be determined by poor financial results, the economic health and so-called 'sentiment', ie, if City buyers think a firm will struggle, its price can fall. 
  • Shares are listed on an 'index'.

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5 golden rules of investing

  1. The greater return you want, the more risk you'll usually have to accept.
  2. Diversify as much as you can to lower your risk exposure, ie, invest in different companies, industries and regions.
  3. If you're saving over the short term, it's wise not to take too much of a r...

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  • Ask yourself WHY you're looking to invest.
  • It is better to try and sort out your personal debts first before you take the risk of making them worse.
  • You don't need a load of cash to be able to invest in the stock market. You can 'drip-feed' in small sums on a...

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  • You can buy shares or funds from different providers.
  • The cheapest offers you'll want to do it through is a website, often called a platform.
  • It's a two-stage process. First you need to pick which platform to buy your shares or funds from, then you need to decide wh...

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2 ways you make money from investing

One is when the shares increase in value (and you profit when you sell), the other is when they pay dividends.

Dividends are a bit like interest on a savings account. If a company makes a profit, it gives some of it back to you.

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A fund explained

  • A fund is simply another way to buy shares. 
  • Instead of you buying a slice of a company directly, you give your cash to a specialist manager who pools it with money from other investors (like you) to go and buy a job lot of shares in a stock market.
  • Each fund is mad...

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