Everybody has different plans for their money. Many people keep theirs in bank or building society accounts. But if interest rates aren't keeping up with inflation, the actual 'buying power' of your money could be decreasing as a result.
If you're looking for greater potential for growth and you're willing to accept more risk, investing in a range of company stocks and shares (also known as equities) can potentially provide better returns than a bank or building society could offer over the long term. MyM&G makes it simple and straightforward to do this, so you might find that investing in equities could be a way to meet your financial goals.
When you buy shares in a company, you're basically buying part of the business. A company's performance is usually reflected in its share price − when the company is successful, the price of your shares may go up. But if the business doesn't do so well, its share price may fall – which means that being able to spot a good company, and the best time to invest in it, are some of the key skills of a talented fund manager.
As an investor, you can earn a return from shares in two ways:
Dividends are payments which usually represent a share of the company's profits. They're paid to the company's shareholders at fixed times of the year, and vary according to the company's business strategy and how well it's doing. This is because the company's board decides how much profit to pay out as a dividend to its shareholders, and how much profit to reinvest into the company to help future growth.
If you've invested in shares via an equities fund, dividends are paid to the fund, and in turn the fund pays dividends to the investors who hold shares in it. As an investor in a fund, you can choose how you want to receive your dividends:
When you're deciding how to invest, it's important to remember that the value of investments and the income from them do go up and down, which will cause the value of your investments to fall as well as rise, and in some cases you may not get back the original amount you invested. If you are unsure about the suitability of your investment, speak to a financial adviser.
At myM&G, we believe the case for long-term equity investing (so 10 years or more) is still as strong as ever. Even in tough economic times, companies with solid business models and reliable ways of making money have the potential to do well for our investors.
In our view, the best returns from equity investments come from companies with clear ideas of where they're going, strong finances, and unique assets which their competitors don't have or are hard to replicate. Our fund managers always look for companies with experienced, trustworthy management teams and sound plans for future growth.
Through active, unconstrained management, we believe we have the potential to generate attractive returns for your money.
Long-term thinking lies at the heart of our expert fund managers' approach, and we focus on what really matters for equity investments: how companies work, and how they're valued on the stockmarket. This is our particular area of expertise, and we're committed to our goal of helping you to achieve a return on your investments.
Like any investment, you should carefully consider if investing in equities fits with your personal aims and objectives before investing. Importantly, you should also check that the profiles of the funds match your own investment timeframe and appetite for risk and reward. You can find out more about the risks you need to consider before investing in our KIIDs.
Our equities funds are what we call ‘building block’ funds – funds that you should hold only as part of a wider investment portfolio. You should also consider creating what’s called a ‘diversified portfolio’, meaning an investment portfolio that is spread across a blend of asset classes like equities and bonds. As different asset types are likely to perform well at different times and in different market conditions, investing in a good mix means you won't have ‘all your eggs in one basket’ and could mean more consistent returns over the long term (so 10 years or more) too.
Find out more about diversification in our handy M&G Guide.
To see our full range of equity funds, click here and select Equities in the Asset class filter.
The views expressed here should not be taken as a recommendation, advice or forecast.