Would you consider investing?

74% of British people would describe themselves as a saver rather than an investor. Is that you?

These pages share some honest stories about what is putting us off investing, as well as some practical ideas on getting started (which might surprise you.)

I don't know, it's kind of intimidating really. 

Sian told us she feels “clueless” when it comes to investing. Anna said her brain “goes to mush” when people start talking about risk and bonds. And lots of people feel as though investing is a secret club which they haven't been invited to join. But the good news is that technology has opened up the world of investing and made it easier and more accessible than ever.

Investing - could it be for you?

Many people tell us that investing feels like something for the City folk. Older men in suits. Someone rich or hugely interested in graphs and charts. But it doesn't need to be this way. If you are saving with at least a 5-year time horizon, don't have expensive debt to pay off, and have 3–6 months' worth of income in cash to cover those rainy day emergencies, read on...

  • Barriers to getting started are lower than ever
    You can open an online investment account with many providers from as little as a £25 direct debit a month. AJ Bell Youinvest and Hargreaves Lansdown are big online investment shops which let you do exactly that. 

  • It may be less risky than you think 
    In 2008, the year of the global financial crisis, the main UK stock market fell by about 30%. But the following year it rose by about 28%. This is not the same as 'red or black' at the casino. 

  • Owning shares is just owning a slice of the world's biggest companies 
    Investing is not a secret science. Many retail investors will own fractional amounts of companies like Apple, Barclays, Facebook, Microsoft and Samsung.

  • Apps and digital investment providers make it easy to start
    Could you round up your loose change from card expenditure and siphon that off into an ISA? Many services have streamlined choices and decisions that make it a lot more accessible for first-timers and complete novices. Moneybox and Wealthify are novice-friendly and let you start from just £1

  • Timeframes matter 
    Investment markets are volatile, so the experience can be a lot more nerve-wracking than a cash account. Things will bounce up and down but this is entirely normal and to be expected. You just dont want to be a forced seller in a downturn - so make sure your time horizons for investing are at least 5 years or more.

  • No such thing as a free lunch 
    Interest rates are at near-historic lows. And money doesn't grow on trees. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Stick with reputable brands and have realistic expectations

Holly's tip: "Lots of people I talk to worry about losing it all. But if you invest in a diverse mix of mainstream investments or funds, the risk of loss is highly unlikely to be so dramatic. Over any 10-year period since the stock market began, shares have done better than cash 9 times out of 10."



Time to bust some urban myths

Investor Pulse - what you told us

Every year, BlackRock ask people from all over the world, including the UK, how they think and feel about their financial health and circumstances.

This year, they went deeper than ever before to understand the connection between our financial health and well-being.

Conducted at a time of unique political, cultural and social upheaval, this edition of BlackRock’s Investor Pulse seeks to better understand how these forces affect financial health.

If you said you wouldn't invest, BlackRock asked you why not. Here's what you told them: 

  • 59% of you don’t think you have enough money to invest; 39% say it’s lack of knowledge and 34% are afraid of losing everything
  • 78% feel there are too many investment products to choose from
  • Three-quarters (74%) identify themselves as savers and just don't see themselves as investors. 

Visit BlackRock to learn more about Investor Pulse.