Principles of investing

If you’re new to investing, knowing where to start can be a daunting task. Here, we guide you through your investment journey, from what to consider before you start, the different types of investment account, which might suit you, and the various asset classes. You’ll also learn why it’s important to focus on the long-term as an investor, and create a diversified portfolio which includes a range of different investments.

The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you could get back less than you invest. If you’re not sure about investing, seek independent advice.

Why it’s time in the market, not timing the market

Watch Barclays’ Savings and Investments Director, Clare Francis, as she shares her thoughts on why there’s no time like the present when it comes to investing.

One of the most common things new investors wonder about when it comes to getting started, is whether or not it’s a good time.

As the saying goes – there’s no time like the present.

Stock markets don’t move in a straight line and without the help of a crystal ball, there’s no way of choosing the best day to invest your money.

Even the professionals don’t have the answer.

What’s important is whether it’s the right time for you to invest, rather than worrying about what’s happening in the wider economy.

And the right time will be different for everybody.

But as a rule of thumb, if you don’t have credit cards debts or loans and you’ve got rainy-day savings to cover unexpected costs, and short-term goals – like holidays – and then you’ve got some money you can afford to put away for a few years – we suggest at least five – investing is worth considering.

Because the sooner you start, the longer your money has to grow.

Naturally, there will be ups and downs along the way and sometimes the value of your investments will fall.

But this only matters if you want to sell your investments – otherwise, it’s just a loss on paper.

And even if you do need to sell, you will only lose money if the value is lower than the amount you’d invested.

If you’ve been investing for a while and the value has gone up before it's fallen, you might still get back more than you’d put in.

Also, try and avoid knee-jerk reactions if stock markets start to fall.

Some of the worst performing days have been followed by some of the best.

So if you panic and sell because share prices have fallen, you risk missing out on the recovery.

It’s time in the market that matters, and not timing the market.

Historically, over the long-term stock markets tend to produce better returns than cash, though there are of course no guarantees .

By keeping your money invested and riding out difficult market cycles, it should have time to recover from any market downturns so you reap the longer-term benefits.

Once you feel you’re ready to start investing, we offer lots of different ways to help you get started, allowing you to be as hands-on or hands-off as you like.

But whichever option you choose, you can be confident knowing you’re with an experienced provider.

So, however involved you want to be, there’s a way to start making your money work harder with Barclays.

Before you start

Tempting as it may be to plunge straight into investing, you may need to address other aspects of your personal finances first. In this section, you'll learn more about some of the things you should take into consideration before putting your money to work.

Your first steps

Once you’re confident your finances are in order, you need to start planning your investments. Get started by setting financial goals. Are you investing for growth? Or income? We'll help you answer these questions and more in this section.

Reducing unnecessary risk

You need to decide how much risk you’re willing to take when you invest. This will largely depend on your financial goals, how prepared you are to accept losses, and how soon you need your money. In this section, we'll help you understand how to manage risk when investing.

Staying invested

You must learn the art of patience if you want to give your investments the best chance of earning a return. By committing to long-term investments, you give your money the greatest chance to grow. In this section, we take a look at some slightly more advanced strategies to help you stay invested and manage your portfolio's performance.

Which investment account is right for you?

You can find out about our range of investment accounts below. 

Investment News & Articles

Keeping up to speed with the issues that could affect your investments is important for all smart investors. Read our latest articles to discover topical economic and market insight, investment ideas, and some of the trends which are shaping the world today.

Ways to invest

Always remember that investments can fall in value. You may get back less than you invest.

Smart Investor

To choose and manage your own investments from a range of funds, shares, ETFs and bonds, get started today by simply opening up an Investment (Stocks & Shares) ISA, Investment Account or SIPP Account with Smart Investor.

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Call us

If you have any questions, you can give us a call on 0800 279 36671

Exploring investments on Smart Investor

You have the choice of thousands of investments to help you achieve your financial goals. Once you’ve opened one of our accounts, we offer you various ways to explore and find the right investments for you.