When buying an investment, people talk about the practical concerns. However, choices of investments are more often made, in my experience as a money coach, from the stories we tell ourselves.

“I don’t like stockbrokers, so I am not investing in the stock market,” a client said. I looked down at my notes and said, “but don’t you have a pension?” “Yes of course, from an old company I worked for,” she replied, before adding, “that would be invested in stocks and shares, wouldn’t it!”

The client wanted to buy a property, start a business, get a better return on her savings, but was very cautious and didn’t want to take any risks. We did discuss doing nothing is a risk, along with crossing the road. However, she was really struggling with the stories she had in her head. “You can’t trust anyone, a property might get subsidence or flood, and money is safe in the bank.” Guess where her money was?

How cautious are you?
‘Your attitude to risk’ to use financial jargon, is one question to answer for yourself when choosing what to invest your money in. The difficulty is, there is no right answer. Ask a financial professional and they are likely to say you often receive better returns with higher risk, but it depends on circumstances like age and other factors, but mainly how comfortable you feel about risk – which brings me back to your story. Whether positive or negative, it is your story and you are the one who has to live with it, especially if the investment doesn’t work out how you expect it to. You can choose from low to high-risk shares or other stock market investments, which brings me on to the next stumbling block for people…

“It sounds complicated.”
Every major purchase in life gets complicated when you get down to the nitty-gritty of actually handing over your money – cars, houses, holidays.

There is always a range of do-it-yourself, call in an expert or find a recommendation and it is the same when buying shares.

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An hour with your bank will set you up with a stocks and shares ISA, like buying a package holiday from a high street travel agent.

Continuing the metaphor, you could go to a specialist travel agent or financial adviser, who’s a professional at finding something more interesting, rewarding and meeting your needs more exactly, whether that be with one phone call or lots of updates and information.

Lastly, there’s researching it yourself. A ferry to France or a year’s travel around the world, the choice is yours, but it takes time to research and learn the tricks of the trade.

For a practical step by step guide to buying shares go to ‘buying shares’.
For expert advice call your Financial Adviser.

To create a new story about money, book an
appointment with Jenny Bracelin,
Business and Money Coach at

Read other articles by our money coach here:

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