Investing on your own takes preparation…

Taking the option to go it alone with your investments takes some work. The financial universe is huge and understanding it needs a lot of research and study. For starters, consider unit trusts. In South Africa alone there are over 900 to choose from.
Which one suits your investment plan?
Do you understand the relationship of returns and risk?
Which combinations do you choose?
What weightings do you consider for local and offshore?

Yes, these questions need to be considered carefully to bring meaning to your investment. If you don’t have the time or inclination to research these areas then perhaps a financial planner is the better route.

However, you may want to simplify your plan by investing in the average of certain asset classes. Exchange Traded Funds offer investments in various sectors and asset classes.
They replicate the indexes in the markets.
For example, The Top 40 shares on the JSE by market capitalization. You can invest in quality shares and get the average of their returns. Without having to trade yourself. You simply invest an amount per month or a lump sum and you now track the performance of the 40 shares. They are managed by competent boards of directors ( that’s why they are in the top 40).

The costs are very low ( around 1% per annum) compared to unit trusts ( 2,5%) and share portfolios ( 2%) and you can start with as little as R300 per month.

You will still need to understand what you are doing. There is a lot of information on the websites that offer theses investment, such www.satrix.co.za
www.etfsa.co.za
where you can invest in assets like gold and property.
Study the fact sheets and understand the nature of these assets.
As a general rule, it’s time in the market that will produce your results.
Shares are for the long term so don’t look for get rich quick results.
Your wealth is created over time with the phenomenal effect of compounding.

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Realistic Returns

If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.
Returns are made from the yields of assets.
Cash produces interest
Property yields rental income
Bonds produce fixed interest
Equities yield dividends

Property and Equities can also appreciate in value which further enhances yield. Offshore assets can also appreciate in rand terms went the currency weakens.

Synonymous with returns is risk. It follows that the higher the returns you expect the more risk you need to take on your investments.
The investment spectrum relative to risk starts with

Cash 5% Short term
Bonds. 6%. Short medium term
Property 8%. Medium long term
Shares 12%. Long term

Many unit trusts have a mix of these assets in various weighting a according to their mandate. So when we hear that the stock market has reached an all time high your investment probably will not have attained the same returns as it may only have a portion exposed toe the markets. Same applies to the currency changes. If the rand weakens only the assets linked offshore will be affected.

So, when a return is offered by a provider of 30% in the short term then be careful. Check out the assets that make up the investment they will have to take on high risk to attempt this amount of return.

Investing follows a time horizon and is not speculative. Quick returns are found in the casinos and not in your investments. Only compound interest over time will give you realistic returns.

If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is. Returns are made from the yields of assets. Cash produces interest Property yields rental income Bonds produce fixed interest Equities yield dividends Property and Equities can also appreciate in value which further enhances yield. Offshore assets can also appreciate in rand terms went the currency weakens. Synonymous with returns is risk. It follows that the higher the returns you expect the more risk you need to take on your investments. The investment spectrum relative to risk starts with Cash 5% Short term Bonds. 6%. Short medium term Property 8%. Medium long term Shares 12%. Long term Many unit trusts have a mix of these assets in various weighting a according to their mandate. So when we hear that the stock market has reached an all time high your investment probably will not have attained the same returns as it may only have a portion exposed toe the markets. Same applies to the currency changes. If the rand weakens only the assets linked offshore will be affected. So, when a return is offered by a provider of 30% in the short term then be careful. Check out the assets that make up the investment they will have to take on high risk to attempt this amount of return. Investing follows a time horizon and is not speculative. Quick returns are found in the casinos and not in your investments. Only compound interest over time will give you realistic returns. Macos@