|Did you think it was time for complex
numerical analysis? Wrong!
To complete your savings plan you have to split your
savings, now and ongoing, between cash and shares. How do you do
There is no right answer: risk/reward trade-off is a personal, emotional
decision and not an analytical one. But there is a right answer
for you. Here are some ways to help you find it.
We have provided a set of Risk/Return
Games in this module. Playing these games will simulate the
outcomes of different investment strategies and help you towards
your personal soution. Here is one way you can use the games:
- Make a very rough estimate of your savings
each year until a key date you are looking towards (retirement,
maybe, or kids off your hands).
- Put it all in cash and see what it gets you.
How do you feel about the result?
- Put it all in shares and see what it gets
you. How do you feel about the result?
- Look at the variability of the results of
both options in real terms (ie after stripping out inflation).
How often is one better than the other? What is your financial
pain threshold for the poor result? What is your pleasure rush
at getting lucky? Will the upside change your life? Will the downside
be a disaster? What options do you have for handling the downside?
- From what you have learnt (about yourself,
mainly, but also about the expected volatility of your investment
options) try a different cash/shares mix.
- Repeat until satisfied
There is no rush. You can take years over this if
you want. You are planning for the long term
Revisit your mortgage
There is one refinement you must make before we allow you to move
on. It is unlikely to be sensible for you to invest in cash in preference
to repaying your mortgage (if your mortgage terms allow it). So,
if necessary, you should revisit the mortgage repayment decision
we encouraged you to take earlier and cycle again through the asset
allocation decision. Repaying
You now have a plan
..... that is a good one. Let us be clear. The steps we have taken
you through exclude 90% of the material and/or advice about financial
matters that you will read in the press or self-help books. But
it will provide a perfectly adequate process of financial management
that will allow you to get on with your life.
You still need a bit of help on execution - how to
buy shares, for example. That's the last subject in Simple Investing:
........or you might want to peep at some ways
to do even better: