The question of whether to save or invest your money comes down to several factors, including what your end goals are, your short-term needs and the assets you have.
There are so many things to think about when it comes to deciding if you’re better off to save or invest any cash you might have in order to maximise it. And in the current climate, with uncertain interest rates and lack of predictability in the economy, the decision can be even more difficult.
Savings accounts have been offering rock-bottom interest rates for a number of years now, which has been an incentive to many to invest their money instead. So surely with interest rates now on the rise, savings rates are more favourable?
While it’s true savings accounts have become more attractive, recent research from Moneyfactscompare revealed that there have been no “inflation-beating” savings rates for two years. Even as inflation fell to 8.7% in April, not a single standard savings account could beat that.
This means that inflation is continuing to “depreciate the true spending power of cash”, according to finance expert Rachel Springall, so many will still be looking at investment options as opposed to saving.
Save or invest: time and risk level
In general, if you’re looking for the lowest risk option, a savings account is often advised for those with assets to put away, particularly if they might want to access them in the short term. You can get an easy access savings account, or a fixed-term bond, for example, which can pay a higher interest rate.
For those at the other end of the scale when it comes to the level of risk you’re willing to take, investing in stocks and shares and other assets can prove fruitful. However, while savings rates may only reap low rewards, the markets can be extremely volatile, with great gains as well as great losses.
One of the top places for those who do have the assets to invest remains the housing market, which sees a limited amount of turbulence over the long-term and can lead to excellent returns. Of course, this is a long-term option, so will not be the best path for those who can only lock in for short time.
What are your goals?
Deciding whether to save or invest your money will also depend largely on your end goals. Many investments, such as in the property market, for example, are generally more fruitful over the long term, so this makes them ideal for putting towards a pension pot or a gift for your children.
If you only have a short-term goal, such as having enough money to complete home renovations or go on an expensive holiday, most people would opt to save instead. An account that allows regular deposits can be ideal, as you can work out exactly how much you need to put in each month to achieve your goal.
The amount matters
If you’re talking about large amounts of money, such as from a hefty inheritance, a financial adviser or planner can help you decide whether your best option is to save or invest it. They will also want to know your long-term goals and the level of risk you’re comfortable with, as well as any other relevant circumstances.
You might be advised not to put all your eggs in one basket. Rather than choose to save or invest the whole lot, perhaps you could spread your risk and your assets across a number of different savings and investment options.
If you’re happy to take on debt as part of your investment, you could put your money towards a deposit on an investment property, which can generate an income from rental yields as well as produce a capital gain when it comes to selling it in the future.
Another point to note is that you can’t predict what will happen to your assets in the future. Whether you save or invest your money, the final outcome is not guaranteed, so it is important to take expert advice as well as to consider the points mentioned above.
BuyAssociation is a property investment consultancy that helps investors find their ideal property, specialising in off-plan new-builds in order to maximise your assets. Whether you’re new to investing or you’re a seasoned landlord already, get in touch for more information.