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How to invest 200k

From passive income potential to the importance of debt clearance, here’s everything you need to know if you’re preparing to invest £200k

Many people in the UK who are lucky enough to have £200k sitting in their bank account, whether via years of saving or inheriting a lump sum, struggle to know where to put this money, especially if they’ve never tried investing before.  

Fortunately, our guidance should lead you through all the factors you’ll need to consider, allowing you to use your money in a way that works for your life and long-term goals.  

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What is your investment objective? 

The most important thing to identify as you work out where to invest £200k is what you’re hoping to achieve. What is your investment objective?

When working with a financial adviser, your objective will be determined early on in your working relationship based on your financial goals. To figure it out, they will ask you: 

  • How important is it that your investments are ‘safe’? – How risk-averse are you, and does that priority rank above the desire to maximise your potential profits? Would you prefer to invest in more secure, steady areas? 

  • Would you like to increase your capital as much as possible? – Is growing your wealth more vital to you than instant access to it? Do you have existing savings that will protect you in an emergency? 

  • Are you looking for the best way to invest £200k for passive income? – Is creating a second stream of steady income a priority for you? Are you willing to take on more risk to secure this sort of financial supplement? 

  • Do you want to reduce your tax liability? – Are you concerned with investing in a way that keeps your tax liability low? Would you like your wealth to exist in a form that won’t be taxed where possible?  

  • Are you hoping to focus your investments on retirement/the long-term future? – Do you plan to access your money now, or are you investing for retirement? Are you willing to lock off your money for the long term? 

  • Are there any other financial goals that might impact your objective? – Do you want, for instance, to start a business? Are you gearing up for a big purchase? What else would your adviser need to know? 

Which investment products are available? 

Once you understand why you’re investing, you can look at where to invest £200k in support of your financial goals and your overarching objective.

You might choose to invest in any of the following: 

  • Your personal pension 

  • Your workplace pension scheme 

  • Stocks and shares ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts) 

  • Stocks and shares (directly) 

  • Investment bonds  

  • Unit trusts and open-ended investment companies 

  • Tracker funds  

  • Investment trusts 

The above investment options are either direct or indirect, and in either category, you’ll find no guarantee concerning how your investment will perform. Even the safest investments come with some risk.  

If you want to make your money go as far as possible but don’t know where to start, speaking to an adviser is the best course of action.

Finance professionals are managing over £1.3 trillion in UK-based funds as of December 2022.

This is their area of expertise, and they will be best placed to help you select investments, considering factors you might not and maintaining awareness of things like effective asset allocation.

The importance of effective asset allocation

Whether you’re wondering where to invest £200k now for income or hoping to put your £200k in a fund where the sum can grow over the next ten years, you need to be aware of asset allocation.

In other words, you need to know what category your investments fall under to ensure you’re continually diversifying your portfolio and investing in multiple asset types.  

There are three major asset classes (listed in increasing order of risk): 

  1. Cash (or equivalents) 

  1. Investment bonds  

  1. Shares 

Cash is your best option if you’ll need access to the money in the next year.

If you’ll need access in the next one to five years, you should choose lower-risk investments, generally staying within the cash and bonds classes.  

If you don’t need access for at least five years, shares might instead offer the best return on your investment.

According to the latest Barclays Capital Equity-Gilt Study, shares beat bonds in 80 per cent of all ten-year rolling periods over the last 100 years, making them the long-term investment with better odds. 

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How to invest £200k in your unique financial situation 

If every UK resident received £200k tomorrow, financial advice would differ considerably from person to person.

This is because each person would come into their money from a different starting point, and that starting point would be instrumental in identifying the best way to invest £200k. 

For example, if you’ve received a lump sum of £200k but don’t have any existing savings, you should keep some of this amount back and create an instantly accessible emergency fund for yourself.

An emergency fund is a way to prepare for unexpected expenses, such as a broken boiler or sudden redundancy, so they don’t knock you off your feet when they arrive.  

Try to get to a place where your emergency fund contains enough money to support you financially for at least three to six months, and you’ll be in a good position.  

It's also important to consider debt and how it will affect your investment decisions.

The average total debt per UK household, as of January 2022, was £62,582, and the total figure for owed debt across the country went up by £62.2 billion between January 2021 and January 2022. 

In most circumstances, you’ll be better off paying your debts before investing, especially when dealing with high interest rates.

Prioritise paying off credit cards and payday loans, clear any overdraft debt, build that emergency fund and then think about how you’d like to invest what remains. 

How does attitude to risk affect a £200k investment? 

As briefly discussed above, your level of risk-averseness could affect your overall objective and shape the sorts of investments that are suitable for you.  

The best thing you can do to determine your comfortable level of risk is to speak with a financial adviser and ask for all the information you need to make an informed decision.

No good adviser will push you to do things with your money that you aren’t 100 per cent happy with.  

To connect with a great adviser today, get in touch with Unbiased.

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About the author
Elizabeth Antaloczy is the Marketing Director at Unbiased and has over two decades of experience writing and producing impactful content that motivates people to take action.