Investing for the future
Published 22/04/2016 | 08:16
Often, with our busy lives, planning for the future can take a backseat to the needs of the moment.
This may be especially true in financial matters: unexpected expenses always seem to crop up – a wedding you have to go to, a broken phone, or a new gas boiler for your home.
Every once in a while, however, it is important to stop, take stock, and think about what you might want – or need – a few years down the road. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that there is a place your money can go, where the amount will be growing over time, enabling you to live the life you want in the future?
A fund to suit you
Irish Life MAPS are a range of multi-asset portfolio funds, available across Irish Life’s investment and savings plans, developed to suit the needs of different types of investors – from the Conservative to the Very Adventurous. As the name suggests, each fund is multi-asset, investing in shares, bonds, cash and alternatives.
“A lot of people have left money on deposit because it’s simply easier to do that than to make the active decision to invest,” says John Groarke, marketing manager in Irish Life. “But what we also see is that nearly one in two of people we’ve researched have told us they don’t feel their money is working hard enough for them on deposit. If you want your money to work for you, you need to look at investment funds.
“A good reason to choose a multi-asset fund is that old adage about putting your eggs in one basket. Spreading your money among lots of assets should mean a smoother return over the long term – making sure you’re not relying on one particular country, or one particular industry, or one particular company.”
The average amount invested with Irish Life MAPS is €50,000 – but the sum totally depends on the individual. “With our savings products, you can invest with as little as €100 a month,” says John. “With our lump sum investment product, you can begin from €10,000.”
The successful investor
There are some things you can do yourself to begin your investment journey – head to the Irish Life website and see what sort of fund might suit, for example. But after that, you should speak to a financial broker or adviser.
John says: “They will be able to tell you how much you can afford to invest, looking at your other obligations, what you need to spend in the next year or so, what you earn, what you borrow. They can give you a recommendation.”
Getting expert advice is one of the key traits of the successful investor, according to John. Another is knowing why you want to invest – what you’re hoping to achieve. This will define what constitutes success, for you.
“Are you investing to have a particular amount of money in 15 years’ time, or are you investing simply to beat bank deposit rates? Are you saving for the kids’ college fund down the line, or saving to have money in retirement?”
If, at the end of the investment term, you have achieved what you’re trying to do – that is the ultimate sign of a good investment.
Frequently asked questions
How will I know which investment will suit me?
Irish Life have a simple three-step online tool that helps guide people to see what type of investor they might be. First you take the investment profile test; depending on your answers, it matches you to a fund that might suit you – depending on your level of risk. Then it lets you see the range of returns you could expect. You can visit www.irishlife.ie to start your investment journey.
How long should I invest for?
“We would always recommend a five-year investment period, or longer. If you have something coming up next year – say you need to buy a new car – that’s not money to put in an investment fund now. That’s what your deposit account is for.”
Do I have to commit to a specific term?
“Our products are open-ended; if you do want to get your money back before the five years, you could do that – though we wouldn’t recommend you do that – or you could leave it invested for much longer than you originally intended.”
How involved do I need to be after making the initial decision to invest?
“You can be as involved or uninvolved as you want to be,” says John. “We have an investment app, and you can check the value of your investment every day if you like, but you don’t need to. We do recommend that at least on a yearly basis you talk to a financial advisor – just to check in, especially if some of your circumstances have changed.”
To discover your investor profile and discover the right path for you, visit www.irishlife.ie or talk to your Financial Broker or Adviser
Irish Life Assurance plc is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
Information correct as of April 2016.