• DIY investing

    Money Pit Stop: We are high risk investors who want to retire at 50 on £50,000 a year - can we make it?

    In our series Money Pit Stop, we ask an investing expert to give our readers a free portfolio makeover.Merchant seamen Fiona and Greig, both aged 35, want to retire at 50 but have reached a crossroads on how best to invest their retirement savings.Between them the Glasgow couple currently have a combined pension investment pot of £240,000 plus their own mortgaged home and a buy-to-let, and hope to be able to retire with a £50,000 joint income in just 15 years' time.To do that they plan to pursue their high-risk Asian growth-focused investing strategy and take advantage of one of ...

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  • DIY investing

    How to take some risk out of your investments: MAIKE CURRIE's four tips to protect your wealth this year

    As investors we’re constantly told that ‘markets can go up as well as down’. But if you’ve forgotten the last part, it’s probably because 2017 was a year of almost all up and very little down.Not only did most stock markets hit new record highs, they did so with very few shocks along the way.It was a year in which the dogs didn’t bite - or even bark - for that matter. Despite all the dramatic headlines around the Trump presidency, Brexit negotiations and North Korean sabre rattling, concerns over political risk were never realised. Do you need to dial ...

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  • DIY investing

    How much are your fund's hidden fees? As some investors pay triple what's claimed, we reveal how to check - and some top funds' charges

    Investors of popular funds are paying up to three times more than the ticketed prices once the additional fees are added, according new research.The ongoing charges figure, known as OCF, has long been the industry standard measure of running costs. But the trouble is, it was unclear exactly how much investors were being charged paying in transaction (also known as trading costs) as well as other one-off fees.And new rules that have forced fund managers to disclose this have show how some are far more expensive than was previously claimed - eating into investors' returns.  in a report published in July ...

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  • DIY investing

    Beware the experts: Following City analysts' buy and sell FTSE 100 share tips would have lost you money in 2017

    Investors who did the opposite of what City analysts recommended last year would have more money in their pockets than those who followed their tips.A new study into share recommendations made by 'experts' illustrates why they should always be taken with a pinch of salt - and you should always do your own research to back up any tip.The 10 FTSE 100 stocks that attracted the highest percentage of analyst ‘buy’ ratings dipped by 9.3 per cent in the 12 months to 31 December 2017, according to the research, conducted by DIY investment platform AJ Bell.Meanwhile, those with the largest ...

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  • DIY investing

    Are stock markets about to crash? Investors fear share prices must soon 'correct' - but five background signals suggest the bulls have further to run

    Doomsayers might be warning stock markets are dangerously overpriced, but new analysis of five top financial indicators show all are flashing 'green for go'.Investors are enjoying a new year bonanza, as London's top FTSE 100 index notches up fresh records and Wall Street repeatedly hits all-time highs in the wake of massive corporate tax cuts in the US. Yet many financial experts warn we are riding for a fall, after an amazing bull run. So what's really looming for markets?  Looking ahead: Five top financial indicators are 'flashing green for go'Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, says: 'There are five lesser known ...

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  • DIY investing

    How to start investing: Ten tips to help if you've never invested before

    Investing is one of those things that most people know they should do and far fewer actually get around to until much later in life. But saving small amounts often is without doubt the easiest and safest way to grow your money over your lifetime and, ideally, build a nest egg to fund your retirement or other life goals. The earlier you start, the longer your money has to grow. But knowing how to start is often the biggest barrier to investing.  The earlier you start investing, the longer your money has to grow You do need to know whether investing is right ...

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  • DIY investing

    Investors continue to ditch UK companies and even turn away from income funds, as bonds hoover up the most money

    Traditionally popular UK equity income funds were hit by heavy withdrawals during October, as investors continued to be spooked by the ongoing Brexit saga.Figures released today by fund trade body the Investment Association revealed UK Equity Income was the worst selling sector during the month, with a net retail outflow of £272million, as private investors pulled out more cash than they put in.The sector will not have been helped by its best known offering, the £8billion Woodford Equity Income fund run by star manager Neil Woodford continuing a bad run. UK equity income funds were hit by heavy withdrawals during October.Also ...

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  • DIY investing

    Buy and sell shares as often as you like for £1.49 a month: New Dabbl app aims to make investing engaging and offers bargain share-dealing

    Dabbl, an app-only investing platform, offering investors the chance to make unlimited trades for one monthly fee of £1.49 is set to launch by Christmas.Customers of the DIY share-dealing platform will be able to buy and sell as often as they want through bulk deals, without paying any commission fees - which massively undercuts many larger competitors who charge £10 or more per trade.However, the firm will levy a fee of 0.25 per cent each year for accounts valued above £7,500 - which equates to a minimum of £1.56 a month.Dabbl will be pitted against other bargain share-dealing offers from the ...

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  • DIY investing

    Fund best buy lists DO add value for investors (but beware supermarkets pushing own brands)

    Funds featured on 'best buy' lists of top investing platforms outperform and are cheaper than the rest of the pack, according to a report published by City regulators.But watchdogs did find evidence of 'favouritism' towards firms' own brand funds, which are more likely to get recommended and less likely to be dropped from best buy lists - even though these funds do not outperform those that don't get the nod.Many investment supermarkets research funds and offer lists of the best ones to buy, and investors refer to them to help narrow down choice among the thousands available. Investment returns: Funds ...

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  • DIY investing

    MINOR INVESTOR: How to create an investment plan that can help you build an income, retire early or just get richer

    Do you invest? The fact that you are reading This is Money greatly increases the chance that you do.What s less likely is that you have an investment plan.And by that I mean a clearly defined plan of what you are investing for and how you plan to do it. Do you know where you're going to? An investment plan increases your chance of successI ll admit that I don t have one either.My investment plan is more of a vague investment idea, which hinges around getting richer, building a decent pension, and having some money to support my kids.Around ...

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  • DIY investing

    INVESTMENT CLINIC: How often should I review my investments and what am I looking out for?

    I often read that I should review my investments regularly. But exactly how often should I do this and what should I look out for?D. G., Norwich. It is a good idea to review your investments at least once a year - especially if you are retired and reliant on investment earnings to see you through in later lifeThe Investment Clinic replies: As A rule of thumb, you should sift through your investment choices at least once a year.The first thing you want to check is how your funds have performed.A good measure of performance is how a fund has ...

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  • DIY investing

    MINOR INVESTOR: Are fund managers starting to beat the market again - and can they keep it up?

    Are fund managers starting to beat the market? The active fund management industry has been taking fire for some years from the rise of passive investing and recently a boot from the financial watchdog over fees. But there is a spot of good news for our embattled fund managers. A note landed in my inbox this week from Tom Becket, of wealth manager Psigma Investment Management, highlighting that an increasing number of UK active funds are beating the market this year.That, of course, simply means that fund managers are doing the job they are paid to do, but nonetheless for ...

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  • DIY investing

    Is your DIY investing platform a good deal? Watchdogs launch probe to find out if savers get value for money

    Watchdogs are to probe whether DIY investing platforms offer value for money to the vast army of savers who use them to buy funds, shares and other products.Platform charges and whether firms use their bargaining power to get investors a good deal, and the model portfolios sold to people wanting simple off-the-shelf products, will be under the spotlight.'The Financial Conduct Authority will explore whether platforms help investors make good investment decisions and whether their investment solutions offer investors value for money,' said the City regulator. Moving online: Savers have flocked to DIY platforms to buy and sell investments after advisers ...

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  • DIY investing

    Money Pit Stop: I'm an ex-policeman with 80k to invest in retirement, where should I put it - and do I pay off my 30k mortgage?

    Looking to retirement: Kevin, 52, wants a medium-risk investment portfolioIn our series Money Pit Stop, we ask an investing expert to give one of our readers a free portfolio makeover.Kevin, a 52-year-old policeman who is due to retire later this year, wants to know how best to invest 80,000 at medium risk. He also asks whether he should pay off 30,000 outstanding on an interest-only mortgage now, or invest that money too for seven years.I am about to retire from the police and am expecting a lump sum of 200,000 at the end of October this year.I intend to ...

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  • DIY investing

    Savers losing 1.5bn a year to inflation by keeping long-term pots stashed in cash.... here's how to invest to avoid it happening to you

    Britons are sitting on some 60billion in cash savings earmarked for the long-term but this is declining in real value at a rate of 1.5billion per year by not being invested, according to new research.Fund management giant BlackRock conducted an extensive study on the saving and investing decisions of 4,000 Britons, discovering that of their average 8,700 held in cash, a quarter, at 2,270, is set aside for 'long-term savings and investments.'It says that higher inflation over recent months has seen this savings mountain eroded in real terms by over 600 million so far this year. Britons are sitting on ...

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