Five useful resources for first-time investors

Our resources and tools could help you make investment decisions and manage your portfolio.

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  1. Charles Stanley Direct
  1. Find out how to start investing

Our new web page can be a valuable resource if you're starting out. It explains the basics, as well as the risks of investing. It's a great place to start and build up your knowledge.

You can follow Erica’s investment journey through her regular articles and videos. She will be providing some easy definitions of key terms and we’ll be producing lots of other content focused on first-time investors. The subjects covered will include:

  • When you should start thinking about investing
  • Understanding risk
  • How the main types of investments – shares and bonds – work
  • Diversification – the cornerstone of sensible investing
  • How to invest tax efficiently to boost long term returns.

Follow Erica’s investment journey on Instagram. Alternatively, our articles and videos are posted on our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

2. Read our guide to investing

Want to read about all the basics quickly and in one go? Download our Investing: the Basics guide. This contains much of the key information you need to take control and invest with confidence.

Also, check out our introductory video to find out more about our flexible and cost-effective investment platform suited to all levels of investor.

3. Learn about funds

Collective ‘funds’ such as unit trusts and investment trusts can offer a convenient solution for investors. They spread your money – and risk – across dozens of different companies and are either managed by a professional fund manager with a defined strategy or designed to simply track a particular index.

For instance, an equity fund manager typically selects a range of shares, usually 50 to 100, which means less reliance on the performance of any one company. The same applies to other asset types such as bonds or properties; specific or ‘idiosyncratic’ risks can be partially mitigated through diversification – not having ‘all your eggs in one basket’.

Collective funds can be a cheaper way to invest too. By pooling your money with other investors you could save money compared to building a portfolio of individual shares yourself, especially if you are investing a modest sum. Paying dealing commission on large numbers of individual stocks can add up to a significant amount.

Find out more in our Introduction to Investing in Funds guide.

4. Start a share watchlist

Watchlists can help you track both new and existing investments – try before you buy! Once you have registered with Charles Stanley Direct you can start a watchlist to keep an eye on investment such as shares, ETFs and investment trusts before you invest. Or you can keep a track of how things could do alongside your existing investments.

If you have an account you can see live prices for UK shares, which will be shown when markets open and throughout the day.  You'll be able to see live prices on the app, or when logged in to your online account.

5. Read our shortlist of funds for new investment

If you are a bit more confident and have an idea about how you want to construct your portfolio our Foundation Fundlist may be of use. The list highlights what we consider to be good-quality options for new investment in each of the major sectors in order to help narrow down the several thousand fund options available to a manageable number.

The list is based on the work of Charles Stanley’s Collectives Research Team, which carries out comprehensive and continuous coverage of a wide range of funds, incorporating detailed analysis of returns, as well and hundreds of meetings with managers each year.

You can explore fund details, past performance and other details for all funds and can start a search for a fund or fund provider here.

Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. This website is not personal advice based on your circumstances. No news or research item is a personal recommendation to deal. Investment decisions in fund and other collective investments should only be made after reading the Key Investor Information Document or Key Information Document, Supplementary Information Document and Prospectus. If you are unsure of the suitability of your investment please seek professional advice.

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Investment involves risk. You may get back less than invested.