Even after the battering in recent years, our financial system includes investments of almost every conceivable type, from the almost rock-solid government bonds, gilts, via shares in major companies, often called blue chip, to the more speculative such as buying into a start-up.

You may see yourself as an active or more of a passive investor, or with an appetite for higher risk investments such as so-called structured products or for alternative investments such as hedge or real estate funds.

Some investments have tax benefits, such as ISAs and Venture Capital Trusts; some have flexibility, such as cash deposits, others are for the longer term.

Some are aimed principally at producing income, others focus on capital appreciation or protection against inflation. The possibilities are almost literally endless.

Plan of action

No-one can say exactly what you need, because there isn’t one single answer – and even if there were, it would be changing all the time.

Picking the right mix of savings and investment vehicles depends on many assumptions and decisions that only you can make and take; these include:

•  How old you are and what your life expectancy is;

•  Where you want to live;

•  Whether you have dependants; and

•  Whether you want to give up work and at what age.

The key is to look hard at what you have now, match that to what you want to do – and then try and fill the gaps.

Speak to a professional financial adviser

We suggest that the best starting point is a session with a professional financial adviser. The financial services industry has recently moved away from a commission basis to a fee basis for such advice.

At last, this means you no longer need to be worried that your adviser wants you to buy a product simply because it pays the most commission for them.

You can be much more confident that you are getting proper independent advice.

Please note

The information which we provide through Lasting Post is in outline for information or educational purposes only. The information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a solicitor, accountant or other professional adviser. We cannot guarantee that information provided by Lasting Post will meet your individual needs, as this will very much depend on your individual circumstances. You should therefore use the information only as a starting point for your enquiries.