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We understand that investments can be tricky and hard to get your head around. To help you out, we’ve put together a simple, no-nonsense guide.

Here's what you’ll discover inside:

  • The Key Steps In Any Investment And Retirement Planning Process.
  • Saving Short-Term VS Investing Long-Term
  • Fathoms Top Tips for Investing
  • Risk And Returns
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What is an investment?

An investment is something that you buy or put money into (an asset) with the goal of generating income, capital growth or both.

There are 4 main types of investment that you can buy:

  • Cash - having savings in a bank or building society account.
  • Fixed Interest Securities (bonds & gilts) - loaning money to the government or a company in return for a regular fixed rate of interest.
  • Property - putting money into both a commercial and/or residential property.
  • Shares - buying ownership of a business either direct or through a collective investment.

Of course there are other types of investment like (but not limited to) the following: Foreign currency, collectables such as: art, antiques, wine, cars, watches and commodities such as oil, coffee, corn, rubber and gold.

These types of investment are often viewed as niche and potentially carry more risk.

Saving short-term VS Investing long-term

Let's re-visit the basics…


Saving is to cover short term goals (perhaps 2 or 3 years ahead at most)

Why you would save:

For a holiday, a new car, a family event or to cover emergencies


  • Easy to access when needed
  • Low risk


  • Low returns
  • Inflation can erode the real value


Investing is for the medium to long term (typically 3-5+ years)

Why you would invest:

  • To provide income in retirement
  • To get returns above inflation
  • To create a legacy


  • Potential for high return
  • Staying ahead of inflation
  • Tax efficient growth


  • Longer term commitment
  • Investments can fall in value as well as rise

Ask yourself what you would do if:

  • Your investment/s fell significantly and it was no longer realistic to withdraw income.
  • You could afford to stop or reduce your income, where would you take your income from
  • You had to stop or reduce your income. How long could you afford to do this? What impact might that have on your finances.

We can help you to understand the volatility of the market and the impact this could have on you and your investments.

To help us understand the level of risk with your investments, we will explore what impact different scenarios would have on your overall finances (now and in future) with the aim of ensuring your portfolio matches your capacity to absorb losses.

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