It’s common for people to hit their stride professionally when they’re in their 40s.
But juggling the costs of childcare, mortgage repayments, home renovations, and your pension means any extra cash needs to be handled with care.
Keen to start investing but wondering where to start?We’ll share some valuable tips to help you make sound investment decisions in your 40s that’ll help you grow your money.
1. Identify your goals
Knowing what you want to achieve financially can help you decide how to invest any spare cash.
You might want to overpay on your mortgage, put aside some savings for your child or give your pension pot a boost.
Once you’ve identified your short and long-term financial goals, consider the following questions:
Do you need easy access to your funds?
How soon would you like to see a return on your investment?
How much risk are you comfortable with?
If you’re happy to play the long game and expose yourself to some risk, you could consider investing in the stock market.
You could also consider a flexible ISA or a savings account if you’re looking to boost your savings, although the returns are likely to be lower than the stock market.
But first, it’s time to review your retirement pot.
2. Review your pension
Is your pension in the best possible shape?
Before you consider investing in the stock market, make sure you’re happy with your pension pot.
Retirement might still seem like a long way off, but making regular pension contributions is one of the most efficient ways of maximising your money.
A healthy pension also gives you financial security and peace of mind in the future.
If you’re employed, you’ll likely already have a workplace pension (or more than one!).
Check to see if you can increase your contributions and whether your employer will match any increases.
If you’re self-employed, setting up a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) can help you take advantage of tax relief on your retirement savings.
You can also set up a SIPP alongside your workplace pension.
A SIPP has all the tax relief benefits of a workplace pension and gives you control over how your pension is invested.
3. Consider stocks and shares
Thinking about investing in stocks and shares?
Whether you’re new to investing or have been doing it for a while, diversification is the key to success by helping to minimise your exposure to risk.
This means spreading your investments across different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, property and mutual funds.
You can also buy shares in different types of companies and various regions around the world.
That way, low-performing investments can be balanced out by ones that are doing well.
Alternatively, you could look at investing in a stocks and shares ISA to protect any gains and dividend income from HMRC, but ISA contributions are limited to £20,000 for each tax year.
4. Consider investing in a fund
If you’re new to investing, you might prefer to buy a fund, which means a professional fund manager selects your investments for you.
You should review your portfolio regularly with a qualified financial adviser to make sure your investments are still meeting your goals.
5. Hedge funds
For high net worth (HNW) individuals, hedge funds can offer high financial returns, but they can be higher risk.
Hedge fund managers tend to use more aggressive investment strategies to get higher returns and may invest in non-traditional assets such as property and foreign currency.
To invest in a hedge fund, you need to be an accredited investor, so you need to have an annual income of at least £200,000 or a net worth of £1 million, excluding property.
If that’s the case for you and you’re prepared to adopt a high-risk strategy in the hope of high returns, a hedge fund is a viable option.
The key to success
A successful investment strategy in your 40s will be determined by your unique circumstances and financial goals.
Your first step should be to pay off any debt and make sure you’ve got a financial buffer in place for emergencies.
Next, look at your pension and make sure you’re happy with your contributions.
Whenever you decide to invest, it’s worth getting advice from an independent financial adviser.
Unbiased can match you with a financial adviser near you who can help you develop a solid investment strategy that’s tailored to your unique circumstances.