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8 Things to Know About Unit Trusts

Unit trust are pooled investments. This means the money collected comes from many people. It is collected by a company, which then invests in various financial instruments such as infrastructure, stocks, money market, bonds and many others.

As an investor you are relieved of the duty of studying the market, because you have given that responsibility task to the investment company whom you trust will do their best to make your money grow. To better understand what you are getting yourself into, here are 8 things to know about unit trust:

There are No Guarantees: As a potential investor you should be aware that the capital investment amount is not guaranteed when investing in unit trust, shares and some other investments. In fact, the value of these types of investments fluctuates according to movements in the financial markets.

Match Investments to Needs: It is essential to choose a unit trust that will best meet your objectives. Normally a client's investment needs will be determined by the extent to which we can sacrifice current income in order to generate long-term inflation-proof growth or wealth creation. When determining and eventually your needs, you ought to consider if they are either permanent or temporary, immediate or futuristic and constant or of an increasing nature.

Understanding Risk: Every investment choice involves some degree of risk. This depends on understanding what the risks are and knowing how to balance them against the potential rewards. investors normally want the highest possible return with the lowest possible risk. However, risk and return are positively associated. the greater the risk, the greater the potential return from investment; the lower the risk, the lower the potential return. Risk tolerance can be determined by age, health and dependents, stability of income, financial knowledge.

Beat Inflation: Over long periods of time, common shares have outpaced inflation. Although past performance is not indicative of future results, it is a good idea to include some equity investments in your portfolio even if you are investing for income purposes.

Time is Money: Time horizons, which is the period of investment, can not be separated from risk: generally, the shorter the investment period, the greater the risk. An investment in unit trusts should be medium to long-term (between 4 to 8 years) as unit trusts consists mainly of equities and equities can be volatile. unit trusts (as most other investments) involve an entry cost and in order to get that money back, the investment should be given time to grow.

Diversity: You should invest in unit trust as a complement to all other financial activities. Therefore, as an investor you should broaden your investment choices between different asset classes such as property, offshore and running a business. Unit trusts are a smart way of diversifying investment.

Flexibility: Unit trust are flexible instruments. you are, therefore, able to liquidate their holdings or switch amongst the various funds easily. This flexibility must be done with caution. Switching from one fund type to another is not simply a change in preference but can determine your overall return. This should, therefore be prompted by a change in circumstances such as higher paying job, increased dependents etc. The convenience with which you can move in and out can tempt one to make emotional decisions, especially during market downturn.

Costs and Performance: Unit trusts have a cost. some costs may be taken upfront or when the client is exiting. all unit trusts charge a fee for the professional management of the funds. It is up to you to decide whether the costs outweigh the benefits. In this case long-term investors are more likely to get their money's worth when it comes to initial and exit charges. However, just as one would go shopping and compare prices, brand and quality, you should compare and make informed decisions before committing to invest.

Also ensure the vital signs and stages of a successful financial planning are adhered to.

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