If you're entering the home straight on the long journey towards retirement, it's natural to start feeling more than a little anxious about the state of your savings. But worry not - there are tried and tested techniques available to help you maximise your return. Keep reading to find out how wealth management can help you get more from your savings.
When was the last time you heard 'the economy' and 'is stable' in the same sentence? It might seem that the economy is stable - we all still go about our daily lives, going to work, buying food, paying for essentials, eating in restaurants - but the reality is that we live in times of perpetual change. Markets go up and down, and we never quite know what's going to happen next.
The Marmite economy
Governments deal with this uncertainty by manipulating the 'economic levers' such as interest rates and the amount of cash in circulation. This is exactly what has happened since the economic crash of 2008. Interest rates are now rock-bottom, while the fallout from Brexit has caused inflation (the cost of living) to start rising. Manufacturers have started to put pressure on prices, and with household names like Marmite affected, all of this economic movement is likely to leave a bad taste in the mouth!
As you'd expect, this can mean only one thing for savers of all stripes: the cash you worked long and hard to save is doing very little for you locked up in a cash savings account. Cash savings accounts are the type banks give you as an add-on to your current account, and although they offer a quick and easy answer to the question 'where shall I keep my savings', they don't deliver high yields or decent interest rates. But in this economic climate, is there really any way to get a decent return from your savings?
The answer, of course, is 'yes'. But only if you shop around and take the right approach. Instead of betting on a cash savings account, the smart money is on longer-term investment funds that deliver much higher yields.
We're all human, and we all make human mistakes: savers regularly fall in to the trap of trying to make lots of money in a short period of time. But research (and more than a little experience) has shown that time in the market is more important than timing the market. The idea of taking a slow, considered and rational approach to saving is 100% encouraged by wealth management strategies.
Now, before you spit out your tea and say 'wealth management is for the super-rich, I'll stick to my own investment methods thank you very much!' it's important to know that wealth management is simply a strategy for making money work as hard as possible over a long period of time. Wealth management is for everyone - and it can work for you.
Wealthy and wise
While the super-rich do have teams of wealth managers making sure their millions produce many more millions, the same principles apply regardless of your net worth: invest wisely over the long term and you can help transform some money today into a lot more money tomorrow.
However, the road to savings success is littered with obstacles, including high fees and underperforming yields. In fact a long-term study commissioned by Flying Colours suggests investors are being short changed, missing out on 2.1% of growth every year. Over 15 years that's the equivalent to missing out on 35% - the difference between turning £10,000 into £21,042 or just £15,587.
The cause is, in part, the overzealous fees being charged by fund managers. Yet with the right advice and the right investments, these eye-watering fees can be avoided. Whether you're an experienced investor that feels they might be paying too much in fees or simply having a chunk of savings money held in a high street savings account, here's a quick guide to making a wealth management approach work for you:
Seven wealth management tips to help you maximise your returns:
1. See how your pension and savings could increase in performance perform by reducing the costs you pay for them.
2. Think long-term: avoid temptation and leverage the full potential of the market by settling in for the long-term.
3. Diversify your investments: research has proven that investing in a swathe of low-cost funds combined with a simple buy-and-hold approach produces the best returns.
4. Calculate your net worth: no, it's not just for The Times Rich List. Work out your total assets and liabilities to understand your true financial position.
5. Set goals: what do you want from your savings? Income? A new car? To pay for your kids' university fees? Revisit your goals regularly to reassess your progress.
6. Seek professional financial advice: an independent financial advisor can make all the difference, helping you navigate the tricky twists and turns of the financial markets and ensure the best return.
**If you want to know how you can make your savings and investments work even harder, or you want to know how to best prepare your finances for retirement, speak to a Flying Colours financial expert today on 0333 241 9900, or request a call back.