A Comprehensive Beginners Guide to Investing

I offer three free investing courses on Financial Expert, which will take you through a variety of investing topics in careful order to introduce you to investing principles in a careful and efficient way.

However, perhaps you’ve already mastered the basics, or maybe you’re interested in just a single topic?

To help you, I’ve pulled together the key content around each key investment strategy and asset class. Pick your investment type, and enjoy our core beginners guides and other helpful articles below!

For more variety, consider the free online investment training available on this website, or if you’re after more depth, browse the top investing books.

Investing in stocks & shares

Our core beginners guide: How to buy shares

Comprehensive Beginners Guide to Investing in shares

Stocks and shares are probably the core investment in most modern investment portfolios, so let’s begin here first.

I begin with what are shares, and why you deserve better than a savings account which compares the performance of a humble bank account with the stock market.

My two articles about whether shares are good investments and whether shares are risky investments may begin to put your mind at ease about the pros and cons of investing in the stock market.

It makes sense to then look at practical matters such as showing how to research share prices and how to choose a stockbroker.

Finally, I consider timing, such as questions like ‘Is now a good time to invest in shares?‘ and ‘When should you sell shares?‘. These articles tend to be most read during times of market turmoil.

Investing in property

Our core beginners guide: How to invest in property

Comprehensive Beginners Guide to Investing in property

Properties are probably the most aspirational investments available. What makes property investment so popular? Few people would choose to rent a home for most of their lives if given the choice. There’s something special about investing in something as ‘solid’ as bricks and mortar.

Many investors view investment properties as a way of securing an income for their future retirement.

Let’s start by considering whether property really is a safe investment.

How much property is the right amount? I’ve looked into how much of your savings you should invest in your first home. For later on in your investment journey, the question becomes how much of your investment portfolio should be in property?

Of course, location is a critical factor, so consider carefully where should you buy property before making any investments.

Investing in land

Our core beginners guide: How to invest in Land

Comprehensive Beginners Guide to Investing in land

Land surrounds us every day, and yet so few of us actually own any.

Land is seen as quite an exotic asset class and few investors understand how investments in land are made, what to look for when researching, and how returns are generated. Our guide to investing in land addresses these questions and more.

I then decided to cover some interesting questions which might surprise you, such as do you own the ground beneath your land, and do you own the air above your land. Please note that these answers are specific to the UK.

You may also be shocked to discover which group of individuals are the UK’s largest landowners.

Investing in corporate bonds

Our core beginners guide: How to invest in Corporate Bonds

Comprehensive Beginners Guide to Investing in corporate bonds

For clarity on the terminology used, I’ve created these explainers to compare the different types of bonds:

I’ve also delved into the question of what is the coupon rate of a bond. This is a ‘must-read’ for beginners to bonds, because it explains the massive difference between the interest rate on a bond, versus a bank account. Confuse the two at your peril!

Investing in commodities

Our core beginners guide: How to invest in Commodities

Comprehensive Beginners Guide to Investing in commodities

Commodities trading is not suitable for beginners who have limited knowledge of economics and a low tolerance of risk.

Commodities may not have a positive expected return, because they do not naturally produce value over time like a company or a property.

I’ve produced a list of commodities you can invest in, to demonstrate the sheer scale of the commodities market. I also highlight reliable sources of commodities news.

One of the most popular commodities in gold, therefore I’ve focused my articles on getting access to this elusive material. See how to invest in gold, how to invest in gold bullion coins and a thought-piece on whether gold is overpriced.

Investing in peer to peer loans

Our core beginners guide: Investing in Peer to Peer Lending Platforms

Comprehensive Beginners Guide to Investing in peer to peer loans

Peer to peer (P2P) lending is where you deposit funds onto a web-platform which distributes these funds to individuals seeking a loan. The platform takes care of screening borrowers, deciding on an appropriate interest rate and collecting the repayments.

Peer to peer platforms have only emerged in the last decade, and are now an interesting place to be in the world of personal investing. Our guide above will introduce you to the risks and rewards of peer to peer lending and highlight the largest P2P platforms in the UK.

Investing in structured products

Our core beginners guide: Investing in Structured Products

Comprehensive Beginners Guide to Investing in structured products

Structured products are a very unique type of investment which are offered mainly through financial advisors or salespeople.

They appear to offer a good combination of returns and risk, by allowing investors to benefit from increases in stock market indexes, but also providing a degree of protection against losses.

Structured products might sound straight forward, but in my article, I show you what goes on behind the scenes to deliver such returns. In doing so, I highlight several risks of using structured products which might not be obvious from reading a sales pitch.

Investing for dividends

Our core beginners guide: Guide to Dividend Growth Investing

Comprehensive Beginners Guide to Investing in dividends

Dividends are one of the ways that investors see a financial return from their investments in shares.

To support our Dividend Growth Investing guide, I also created these brief explainers which help beginners understand more about the practicalities of how dividends work:

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