Savings are something people often consider first when financial planning. And they sometimes believe that investments are only for people with large pots of money.

But that’s not always the case! Savings and investments are something that can be useful for most people when planning for the future.

Both can help you reach your financial goals – but it all depends on what your goals are. When you come to Co-Navigate, the first thing we do is listen to you and ask you about your dreams and goals.

Once we know what you’re hoping to achieve we can then help you make a plan on how to get there.

Everyone we meet is different, so your financial plan will be as individual as you are.

But what is the difference between saving and investing?

Savings

If you have short-term financial goals, saving may be best for you. Most people use savings as a ‘rainy day’ fund because they don’t want to tie up their money.
You can usually access your cash whenever you want without needing to wait for the funds.

That said, some accounts may not allow withdrawals for a certain initial period. These tend to be accounts that pay the highest interest rates.

Savings are usually something that you hold in a bank or building society account. There are usually no or very low risks when saving.

Although rates aren’t high at the moment, providers will pay you some interest for holding your money.

While savings are generally considered safe, no financial products are completely risk free. If the bank or building society holding your money goes bust for example, you may lose money.

If the organisation holding your savings is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, then the first £85,000 of your money is protected. Visit fscs.org.uk for more information.

The other issue to be aware of is that the interest you are paid may not keep up with inflation (the rising cost of living).

You must be aware that in these circumstances the money in the bank may end up not being enough to cover whatever you were hoping to buy.

Investments

Investments are different to savings because it involves more than simply depositing money in an account until you need it.

Investing means you’re buying assets, such as shares, bonds, property or commodities i.e. gold or oil for example.

The aim of investing is to beat inflation over the medium to long term and hopefully reap higher rewards than you would get from saving. How much you want to try and beat inflation by depends on the risk you’re prepared to take.

You will find the risks are higher than savings as the value of your investment can fall as well as rise. In the worst-case scenarios you could lose money, especially in the short-term.

But, in the medium to long term and as part of a structured financial plan, a well-diversified investment portfolio should almost always perform better than cash savings and help you towards your financial goals.

At Co-Navigate, we will advise you to look at investments as a medium to long-term strategy – usually at least five years.

As we’ve already said, everyone is different and depending on your goals and approach to risk, we will be able to advise you on investments that suit you once we understand your reasons for investing.

Financial planning

Ultimately, we need to look at your financial planning first so we can best advise you. If you’ve never set goals through financial planning before, you can learn more here.

We tailor our advice to ensure we help you create a bespoke financial plan as individual as you are.

Why not contact us now to arrange a meeting.