Showing posts with label Risk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Risk. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Confused About Retails Bonds? Learn How to Start Investing

Interest Rates
Interest Rates (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

With interest rates on savings accounts still rooted to rock bottom, many people are looking for alternative places to invest their cash to get a decent return.

One such option is a retail bond. Not everyone will have heard of retail bonds and they may well sound like a complicated financial instrument but in reality are relatively straightforward. They allow the individual to control the level of risk they are exposed to.

If you think you might be interested in 
investing in retail bonds and want to know more, read on to find out more.

Retail bonds: the basics

A retail bond is simply a way of investing your money in a certain company, which not only returns your capital at the end of an agreed period, but also pays you interest along the way.

Cash flow can be tough for a company to raise and when it comes to growth and expansion, an injection of capital is needed. One way of getting this is to create a series of bonds that investors can buy. The company offers a guaranteed interest rate in return for the use of the cash for the agreed period. The concept really is that simple.

The amount of interest offered will depend on the size and stability of the company. Large organisations such as Tesco might offer bonds with an interest rate of around 5-6% whilst a smaller, less secure business might have to give an investor around 10% in order to be sufficiently attractive. As a general rule, the higher the rate of interest, the more risky the investment is.

How do I buy a bond?

If you already have an investment portfolio, the chances are that you have either a wealth manager or a stockbroker who executes deals on your behalf. They will be able to purchase a retail bond upon your instructions.

If you are new to investing, it is possible to set up an account with a stockbroker on an 'execution only' basis, which means you will not be receiving advice or management services. This will be the cheapest way for you to get your foot onto the ladder.

When you are ready to purchase your bond, there are several factors you need to ensure you have carefully considered. How long you want your money to remain invested for, the level of risk you are willing to accept and the return you are hoping to receive are all key and will help to determine your choice of company to purchase the retail bond from.

Once you think you may have identified a suitable target - research, research, research. A company that offers a higher interest rate will be at a greater risk of going bust or defaulting on the debt, so think very carefully before ploughing your money in.

To summarise, retail bonds are very accessible to the general public even though they may not be the most well-known way to invest. However, with detailed planning, research and clear goals, it is possible to secure a much better return on your money than with a bank.

Samantha Wood is an experienced finance writer but wishes she had more money to invest. To keep up to date with the latest opportunities and news, Samantha uses sources such as 
Investing In Retail Bonds.  

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