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Is investing right for you?

To figure this out, start by asking yourself a few questions.
1. What’s your current financial position?
If you’ve got unsecured interest-bearing debts, such as credit cards and loans, you should pay them off – and build up some savings – before you start investing.

Ideally you’d have an emergency savings fund worth 3 to 6 months of your living costs first. This way, you’d have money available to cover unexpected costs, without needing to dip into your investments.

2. What are your goals?
If you’re trying to build up enough money to cover the cost of a new car, a holiday or a wedding in the short term, then investing is probably not the right option.

But if you’re putting money away for something at least 5 years away – such as a child’s education or just more flexibility later in life – then investing may be right for you.
The sooner you start, and the longer you can leave your money invested, the more time it has to grow and recover from any bad periods along the way.
3. How do you feel about risk?
No investment is risk free. You’re putting your money into something you believe will go up in value but there are no guarantees. You’ll be exposed to the uncertainties of the markets, which means the value of your investment can and will jump around so you could get back less than you put in.

With investing, risk and reward go hand in hand. As a general rule of thumb, higher-risk investments, including shares, have the potential to give you higher rewards. Lower-risk investments tend to equal lower rewards. Find out more about the risks of investing.
You can start by investing very little. So starting small could be a good way to dip your toe in the water. Then you can watch what happens to your investment – and invest more later if you want to.
Ready to take the next step? Read how to start investing.
Takeaway investing tips for beginners
Investing is for the long term – ideally for 5 years or more.

The higher the potential rewards, the higher the risk of losses.

You don’t need to pick your own stocks – many first-timers start. investing in funds

Diversification can lessen the impact of one investment performing badly.

Start as early as you can so your money will have more time to grow.