Savings & Investments
Can you afford not to get advice about your savings and investments?
Start Saving The Right Way
There’s never a bad time to start saving, but there are times when it can be painless such as after a recent promotion or salary increase, or after receiving an inheritance, gift or a windfall. Whether you are saving for a wedding, a new car or your first home; starting a family and saving for future educational costs or setting up a rainy-day fund, our team is here to help you start saving the right way.
We begin by working with you to outline your financial goals, assess your attitude for risk, and identify how much you can and should be saving. Then we review the options and help you decide where you should put your money to get the returns that match your risk profile, financial goals and timeline.
Whatever your reasons, and whatever the timing, we’re here to help. Schedule a call with one of our advisors today and we’ll get started.
Start Making Your Money Work For You
Whether you are new to investments, or you are a seasoned investor, our team have the experience to help you maximise the returns your money can yield, and ensure your investment decisions are in line with your financial circumstances, goals, and risk profile.
There are many different asset classes you can invest your money in, and finding the right level of diversification between the asset classes based on your risk profile, goals and timeline will help to protect you from the volatility of your investments.
Our approach to investment advice:
Firstly, we review with you your past experience, investment knowledge, perceptions and understanding of the relationship between risk and reward to gain a good understanding of your risk profile.
We assess your current financial circumstances including your net worth, investment knowledge, existing income, and savings – all important aspects when it comes to future investments.
Risk & Reward – diversification is the most important component of achieving long-term financial goals while minimising the risk you are exposed to. Our team will work with you to evaluate and assess your investment opportunities and help you decide on the best choice for your financial goals.
Equities refers to stocks and shares of companies traded on the stock market. This asset class is usually the most important to investors as it has the potential for high returns. It is a highly volatile asset class and as such is recommend as part of a diversified portfolio.
Bonds are a fixed income instrument usually issued by governments and companies. They are generally a loan which offer fixed rates of return and have a predetermined maturity date. Bonds are usually seen as a lower risk investment but we still recommend a diversified portfolio.
Property is an important asset class which has delivered very attractive returns to investors over the longer term. There is a very wide range of options available to investors seeking exposure to property but investors should be aware of the additional risks associated with liquidity and gearing in relation to this asset class.
Commodities refers to a variety of items
The term commodities refer to a wide range of items from oil to base metals (iron ore,
copper, zinc, etc.) to food materials (wheat, soya, pork bellies, etc.). Commodity prices can be very volatile and as a result can be high risk for investors not familiar with the underlying markets.
Absolute Return Funds
Absolute returns refer to returns that are independent of the direction of the underlying markets in which the funds are investing. Investors can achieve a more stable lower risk return than might be achieved via the more traditional asset classes.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
To protect your investments against high risk investments and for a more liquid and
accessible asset, cash should always form a portion of your investment portfolio. Cash usually produces the lowest returns of all the asset classes in the long term.
This is variety of investments which includes currencies, precious metals (gold, silver, platinum, etc.), renewable energy, forestry and also lower risk options such as structured products. Each of these alternative asset classes will have particular attributes which should be considered before investing.
Investment Planning Goals
At Symmetry Financial Management, we work closely with you to establish precise requirements and parameters before designing a portfolio to meet your investment objectives. This process involves:
1. Starting with the ‘Why?’ – to establish why you want to invest, and what your financial goals are.
2. Identifying the time-frames involved in achieving your goals, and your short-term cash requirements.
No financial adviser can guarantee investment performance. We aim to align your financial plans with your short, medium and long-term requirements and your risk tolerance.
Our investor policy statement lays out a game plan, a strategy to help you gain. We even ask our clients to promise not to act hastily in volatile markets, and focus on the original purpose rather than what’s in the short-term news headlines.
Risk Management & Diversification
Diversification is spreading your risk across different types of investments who may not rise and fall in the same way at the same time. It is important because investment markets can be unpredictable.
Diversification cannot protect against all possible losses on the markets. Any time you invest you are taking a risk and this implies there may be a loss. It makes sense to diversify your funds when investing in medium to high risk funds but even this may be hit if the markets fall.
There may be times when you don’t need diversification in your portfolio. This would mainly apply to experienced investors but also to very low risk investors.
If you are extremely low risk you may not be comfortable with spreading your money and risk to different types of investments and prefer to stick your money into a bank or post office. The risk with this is inflation may rise beyond what your investments yield and your funds may lose their value.
For a more experienced investor you may have the confidence to invest within the one company or asset. This can result in maximum returns but also a total loss of funds, for this type of risk you must be able to afford the loss.
Reduce the Tax You Pay on Savings and Investments
Most forms of investment carry a tax liability on any gains. Some of the main ways to reduce the tax you pay on savings and investments include:
- Using any allowances that are available to reduce your tax liability
- Using tax-advantaged investment structures, such as a pension
- Taking full advantage of your annual capital gains tax allowance
- Keeping a record of any losses on shares or property to offset against future capital gains
- Speak to a qualified accountant or tax advisor
Investing always involves a level of risk. The amount of risk you are willing to take is up to you. We are here to help you understand your risk profile and decide on the level of risk you are comfortable with.
What does risk mean?
There are two types of risk to be considered when investing. The risk of investment falling in value and the risk inflation will have on the value of your savings over time.
How to decide the level of risk you should take:
Below are 5 factors you should take into account when deciding how much risk you are willing to take with your investments.
1. How much can you afford to lose?
When you are thinking of investing your money it is not advisable to invest any money you may need to live on in the near future. Your level of risk can be determined on your current circumstances, your level of income, your job security and your savings.
If you have other advantages i.e. a guaranteed high income or a large amount of savings, you may be able to invest in more medium to high risk investments. On the other hand, if your job is not secure or if you are using your savings to supplement your income you may be better suited to a low to low-medium risk investment.
2. How long are you looking to invest for?
The timescale of your investment will always affect your investing decisions.
With a long-term investment e.g. starting your career and setting up a pension fund, you may be more comfortable to go with medium to high risk funds as if there is a drop in the markets your investment has the time to recover.
On the other hand, for a short-term investment i.e. saving for a deposit for a house, if there was a drop in the markets for the higher risk your fund may not have the time to recover. Where the money will be needed in a short time a lower risk investment would be more suited.
The longer the investment the more risk you can afford to take.
3. What level of return are you hoping for?
The investment return you are expecting must be considered as it will decide the level of risk you need to be prepared to take. The higher return you want, the higher the risk you need to take.
If you are just looking for something a little better than your usual interest rate, a low to medium risk fund may help to achieve this and any losses would not be as significant as higher risk funds.
4. Is this a once-off investment or continuous investments?
Investing continuously can be lower risk than a once-off investment. A drop in the markets wouldn’t have the same impact on your funds when you are continuously investing as it would on one lump sum investment.
5. How would you react to a significant fall in your investment?
You should consider your response to a potential loss in your investment when deciding where to invest your money.
Generally, the lower your tolerance to loss the lower your risk should be.
Useful Tools For Savings & Investments
Savings & Investments Guide
Find out how you can start saving and investing in your future, what products are available, what your risk profile is, and how we can help you every step of the way.
Asset Tax Chart – Ireland
Minimising your tax burden will help ensure that you are getting the returns you need. This tax chart outlines the Irish tax liabilities for the investment assets available to you.