IF you are like many who are concerned about financial security in the harsh economic climate — and indications that there are even more challenging days ahead — you may want to consider starting an investment portfolio.
With the projections for contraction in the domestic economy, getting started on your path to wealth creation is an excellent idea, say financial advisors.
"The time to start investing is right now there is no time like the present, despite the National Debt Exchange (NDX) and all the uncertainty in the market. The fact is there are always opportunities in the market," Mayberry's Damion Wizzart told Sunday Finance.
Many individuals hold the view that investment portfolios are only for the wealthy or those with lots of money to invest — one of the biggest myths, according to the experts.
"You don't have to be rich to start investing," said CreativeWurxMedia's Dennise Williams, noting that all that is needed is "a desire to want to do something with your money".
The creative director reasoned that an investment portfolio can be started with as little as $2,000.
"Several investment houses offer products that start at this level," she said.
Since your portfolio is tailored to your individual financial goals, it is important, the experts advised, to determine the forms of investments you wish to make.
"This, of course, is dependent on your investor profile," Wizzart explained.
Investor profiles generally speak to whether investors is aggressive, moderate or conservative when it comes to investing their money.
"An aggressive investor is willing to take risks," Wizzart explained, adding that stocks are favoured by this group, as they provide "the best chance of increasing returns".
He noted, however, that one should always be mindful that "the risk of losing your money is also very great, since the market can provide precipitous gains as well as losses.
The moderate investor is concerned with making money without the possibility of losing too much, Wizzart said.
"This investor will like bonds, mutual funds and money market instruments as they provide a steady income stream for the most part with minimal potential for losing your capital," he advised.
The weak-at-heart, or the conservative investor, does not care to lose any of the capital invested and the return on investment is the least important factor to them, by Wizzart's reckoning.
The conservative investor will gravitate towards repurchase agreements (repos), certificate of deposits (CDs) and treasury Bills, the advisor suggested.
Factors such as age, investment goals and the length of time one wishes to invest should also guide decisions about which products to get into.
"Ideally, the client should sit with a licensed financial adviser to decide which products are appropriate," Williams cautioned, while adding that a good grip of what you want is vital to investment choices.
The advisers agreed that the more risky undertakings should be done while one still has youth in their favour as it may not be as easy to recover if money is lost as retirement draws near.
"The younger you are the greater the ability to rebound," Williams said.
Wizzart suggested that fixed income instruments are worth considering for an investor with a short- to medium-term objective. For example, an individual who aspires to buy a car in six months, Wizzart reasoned.
"Your capital is secured and you are guaranteed the rate of return that you would have signed off on at the time of the investment," he said.
Investors who are in it for the long haul may find stocks appealing , he added, noting that whether by dividend payment or capital gain, investors are quite likely to make money on their investment.
History has shown that stock prices go down and rebound, and a mix of stocks and bonds is "a good avenue to securing a nest egg", he said.
For Wizzart, the current low interest rate conditions imposed by the NDX should not be a deterrent to investing. He suggested that investors capitalise on the low stock prices, which "should go up as confidence returns to the economy".
Investment advice is free, the experts told Sunday Finance, with charges only being applied when the advisors undertake a transaction on the investor's behalf.